Lyric Opera unmasks new ‘Ballo’

BLO_Ballo.pngBy Jeremy Eichler [Boston Globe, 31 March 2007]
All hail Riccardo, Governor of Boston!
Er, which governor was that?
Colonial Boston surely seems light years away from the world of 19th-century Italian opera, but that was precisely the point when Verdi and his librettist, Antonio Somma, chose to appease the nervous censors of Rome by transporting their opera of political intrigue and regicide — “Un Ballo in Maschera” — to some place far from European shores. The place they chose was late 17th-century Boston, turning King Gustavus III of Sweden into Governor Riccardo.