Giuseppe Verdi

Stage Direction | Lighting Design Sebastian Ritschel
Musical Director Christian Voß
Set Design | Costume Design Barbara Blaschke
Dramaturgy Gisela Zürner | Ronny Scholz
Choir Sebastian Matthias Fischer
Premiere 17. January 2015 | Landesbühnen Sachsen


Gustav III. Christian S. Malchow | Kay Frenzel
René Ankarström Paul Gukhoe Song | Hans Christoph Begemann
Amelia Stephanie Krone | Anna Erxleben
Ulrica Silke Richter
Oscar Miriam Sabba | Iris Stefanie Maier
Graf Horn Michael König
Graf Ribbing Hagen Erkrath
Christian Kazuhisa Kurumada | Fred Bonitz
Ein Richter | Diener Amelias Andreas Petzoldt
  Chor der Landesbühnen Sachsen
  Elbland Philharmonie Sachsen



Nicole Czerwinka - Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten

Verdi meets Hitchcock

Sebastian Ritschel's gloomy “Un ballo in maschera” at the Landesbühne.

In the case of Guiseppe Verdi's opera “Un ballo in maschera” at the Landesbühnen Sachsen its a bit like with the movies of Hitchcock... such scandals are not imaginable today – consequentially Sebastian Ritschel is putting Verdi's “Un ballo in maschera” on stage beyond all references of time and with a comedic wink. It is a world of glib suits and ties, that he shows in the first act. Armed with briefcases, they are building up a conspiratorial campaign against the king. Here Ritschel puts emphasis on clear, reduced pictures, combines visual reduction and sensual symbolism of colours.

The floor, on which later the masked ball will dance, is a crooked, taken of its hinges, but deep room from the beginning on.

In contrast stands fortune teller Ulrika's mystic, whose chamber is a witches kitchen with ladies dressed in red, who – like in Hitchcock's horror – at first are sacrificing a young woman […] The encounter of Gustav and Amelia is set in a dark and scary forest, where a dead body is dangling from the sky and many black ravens are sitting derisively on a scaffold, while both are confessing to their love for each other. And in the third act even the dreams of the characters are projected onto a mirror-wall.


Jens Daniel Schubert - Sächsische Zeitung

Horror is nothing other than reality

The Landesbühnen are fascinating with a very abundant production of “Un ballo in maschera”.

Sebastian Ritschel put on stage the dramatic events in big, striking and well thought through pictures. Therefore stage designer Barbara Blaschke built for him a crooked world, a recent world, a world taken out of a Hitchcock movie. His words, that “A glimpse into the world proves that horror is nothing other than reality”, stand programmatic. A weird butler carries his head through the scenery. Even “the birds” aren't missing. There is much to see and to think about, although or just because the story is so plain. Its being played earnestly […].

The Landesbühnen are showing his opera “Un ballo in maschera” and besides powerful pictures one is experiencing impressively played and sung music. Big applause.


Nicole Czerwinka - elbmargarita / online magazine for culture od Dresden

Opera with the effect of a horror movie

Giuseppe Verdi's “Un ballo in maschera” at the Landesbühnen

When it comes to the literature of musical theatre, the operas of Verdi have always somehow belonged to the thrillers. Stage director Sebastian Ritschel, in his version for the Landesbühnen Sachsen, is now also visually referring to Hitchcock's style – and he is managing that quite diverting.

[…] In his staging Ritschel is indeed disclaiming such historical samples. He rather shows a world of glib suits and ties, armed with briefcases, who are building up a conspiratorial campaign against the king. […]

Ritschel found clear, reduced, but never dull getting pictures to tell the opera. Time and again he is making use of comedic references from Hitcock's repertoire of horror and is so meeting the requirements of the special features of opera, which stands between the genres of the Italian melodrama and the frivolous Opéra-comique, also visually. […]

And in the end they are even biting, Hitcock's birds, which Ritschel lets loose over his version of Verdi in Radebeul. Like in every good thriller the murder is happening from behind, in the midst of the dancing ball society. Hidden behind scary masks looking like birds of death, conspirators are finally stabbing – it is only when Earl Ankarström puts his knife into the breast of Gustav, that the last masks are falling. It is a quite funny, when then the ball society is dancing with red roses around the wounded – but also tragic, as the whole thing turns out to be a great misunderstanding, because in the end Gustav and Amelia remain true to Ankarström. There is comedy behind through which the tragedies of life are flashing the most bitter, somehow still like in the movies.


Wolfgang Zimmermann - Meißner Tageblatt

Acclaimed premiere for “Un ballo in maschera” in Radebeul

The plot of Giuseppe Verdi's opera “Un ballo in maschera” could have been taken out of a modern detective story. But it is based on a real event happened in the year of 1792. Back then King Gustav III of Sweden was murdered on a masekd ball at the opera of Stockholm. [...]

Stage director Sebastian Ritschel developed this new production highly recent material as a guest at the Landesbühnen Sachsen. For the current world is well armed. To succeed with an assassination there are all thinkable possibilities. It was only days before the premiere in Radebeul, that the blistering attack on the editorial staff of the satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo” had happened.

The setting of the production was the work of Barbara Plaschke. She clothed her protagonists up-to-date and also gave the stage a modern ambience. To build a bridge into the present this is reasonable. That way the characters are not only getting a real touch, also they seem exchangeable. On top of that comes another phenomenon: the title “Un ballo in maschera” could allude to a delusion to dress up, like it seems omnipresent in todays society. In the second half of the production the stage is finally getting crooked. It is a metaphor for a coflict you can't solve with in a normal way: things are falling apart.