Getting behind the mask: an intense Un ballo in maschera at Iford

Sung in beautifully clear English, Timothy Nelson’s small-scale production for Iford pulls the audience right inside Verdi’s vortex of emotions which keeps Ballo so gripping from beginning to end. Cricket whites, modest floral dresses, evening dress and cigarettes give a sense of the loucheness, yet residual innocence, of the very early 1920s, while poppies and military uniforms speak of darker human experience. A clean and minimal set (there’s never room for much more in Iford’s jewel-like interior) allows strong visual effects to be created simply: the graveyard scene, in particular, is gothically beautiful, with swirling mist, eerie shadows and a weeping stone angel at its heart.

Click here to read my full review on Bachtrack.


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