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English translation © Maria Kozlova
Un Ballo in Maschera by Giuseppe Verdi
Deutsche Oper Berlin 
Performance dates 28 and 31 May 1975
Riccardo -  José Carreras

Renato -  Ingvar Wixell
Amelia Katia Ricciarelli
Ulrica - Eva Randova
Oscar - Costanza Cuccaro
Silvano - George Fortune
Samuel - Victor von Halem
Tom - Ivan Sardi
Richter - Leopold Clam
Diener - Robert Koffmane
Dirigent - Jesus Lopez Cobos
Inszenierung -  Ernst Schröder
Ausstattung - Michel Raffaelli,
Chöre - Walter Hagen-Groll
Tänze - Galina Jor...wa
Last year Jose Carreras introduced himself to the public of the Deutsche Oper Berlin for the first time in a concert performance of Mercadante's "Giuramento", and the desire to see him again in an opera performance was strong. The reunion came about in a dubious "Masquerade" production, but Jose Carreras made everyone forget the conventionality of the stage. Even opera habitués had to rummage in their memory: such a Riccardo wasn't heard here long since. His voice, light and sure, and musical, seemed to dance with notes; the arias became happy moments: the pure harmony did not overpower dramatic acting. The singer was in top form during the first performance on May 25, and there could hardly be a match for him at that time. Jose Carreras set a hard-hitting standard here. This astounding young singer is a challenge. Another illustrious guest came with him to the Spree: Katia Ricciarelli, prized and burdened with fame. On 28 May she offered a quite good but not sensational performance as Amelia. Her well-grounded voice developed quickly; some imperfection was still evident. Charged with big roles too early her voice sometimes seemed damaged for the future. The singer was much more secure during the second performance, and Jose Carreras - who is not married to her as one Berlin newspaper falsely wrote - was a good and attentive partner. In the big duet from the second act the two voices, perfectly blended, received enthusiastic applause. In Berlin one did not make a blunder of putting together stars and undistinguished artists. Ingvar Wixell with his mighty baritone capable of piano - the ability used too little lately - was successful as Renato. Eva Randova showed herself worthy of her partners: her Ulrica was received with bravos.  Costanza Cuccaro as Oscar was in superb vocal form, and George Fortune (who usually sings Renato) friendly sang the minor role of Silvano. Victor von Halem and Ivan Sardis gave a good account of themselves as conspirators.  Walter Hagen-Groll's "Meistersinger" choir proved its good reputation.

Jesus Lopez Cobos had a great part in the successful evenings. The contact with the stage was perfect, and the score received

a full-value reading.  There was no tone-dissipation; the orchestra  conveyed the drama with music that breathed and felt with the artists. - Margot E. Hoffmann