Monday, August 10, 2020 - Start: 8:00 PM

Opera in three acts (six scenes) by Giuseppe Verdi (Salzburg Festival 1990, Großes Festspielhaus – in Italian). A production by ORF, ZDF and NHK

Plácido Domingo as king Gustavo III
Plácido Domingo as king Gustavo III
This production might be considered Karajan’s Salzburg opera legacy and uses the original version of Un ballo in Maschera, set at the Swedish court in the 1790, before the censors forced Verdi shortly before the premiere to move the action to the more innocuous setting of colonial Massachusetts. It was to be the crowning glory of Karajan’s Verdi series, but the maestro died shortly before the premiere, on 16 July 1989. Karajan’s unsurpassed ability to combine cultured sound with dramatic effect as well as his perfectionism in rehearsal never failed to create unusual and highly acclaimed opera events. His unexpected death shocked the music world at the time, and especially the Salzburg Festival, which he had dominated for more than 30 years. At the time, Sir Georg Solti took over the completed production, which Karajan had devised with the great Hollywood director John Schlesinger. Together with the Vienna Philharmonic and great singer-actors such as Plácido Domingo and Sumi Jo, he brought the production to fruition. Fortunately Karajan’s last opera was recorded for posterity and can still be enjoyed today.


Conductor: Sir Georg Solti | Director: John Schlesinger | Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic | Duration: 152 minutes | Featuring: Plácido Domingo (Gustavo III), Leo Nucci (Renato), Josephine Barstow (Amelia), Florence Quivar (Ulrica), Sumi Jo (Oscar), Jean­Luc Chaignaud (Christiano), Kurt Rydl (Ribbing)