You have already had a look at the title of this post, haven’t you? You must be thinking that I am going to talk about hi-techs and the data compression tool focused on the RAR file formats. Nope, definitely no. 🙂 This short post will tell you a story about might and conspiracies, secrets and passion, and of one love triangle … Riccardo-Amelia-Renato, being the main plot of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera – Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball).
The first scene is at Ricardo’s palace where his supporters as well as his enemies have been invited to a public audience. The mighty but at the same time generous ruler is reviewing the list of the guests who is going to attend his forthcoming balled mask. His desire is to see Amelia’s name among the guests. She is the lady of his heart whom he secretly is in love with. At this time Renato comes. He warns the king about the rising conspiracy against him but Riccardo doesn’t listen to him.
The ruler has to deal with a complaint against fortune-teller Urlica. She has been declared a witch and magistrates want to drive her away. The only one to defend her is Oscar. After having been presented with the complaint, Riccardo decides to cope with it by himself. So, he orders his soldiers getting dressed in ball clothes with masks on and to accompany him at Urlica’s hut later that night.
Said and done. Dressed in the clothes of a fisherman he arrives first in front of the fortune-teller’s house. When he realizes that Amelia is coming to Urlica, he gets hidden in order to see what will happen. When the young lady comes, she confesses to the fortune-teller, telling her that she is in love with Riccardo, and she asks her for a remedy which will cure her. Ulrica advises her to gather some magical herbs. At this moment Riccardo arrives with his soldiers. He wants her to tell him about his future and destiny. The old lady reveals to him that he is going to be killed by the next one who shakes hands with him. Laughing at her prophecy, he refuses to believe in it and stretches his hand to his soldiers. Nobody wants to shake hands with him. In the end Renato appears and shakes his hand. Riccardo’s identity is revealed and he’s greeted by people.
In the outskirts … At midnight …Amelia comes to pick up the herbs Urlica has advised her to use. She is surprised with Riccardo’s presence there who has come to meet her. Both of them declare their love to one another. All of a sudden Renato appears and Amelia hides her face behind a veil before he sees her face. The soldier explains to the ruler that conspirators have tried to get him involved in their deeds and that Riccardo’s life is in danger. The ruler asks Renato to accompany the lady without asking about her identity.
Unfortunately, the conspirators arrive and during the fight the woman’s veil is taken off. Renato thinks that his wife and Riccardo have been in a secret relationship up to now and that makes him fix an appointment with two the rebels for the following day.
At Renato’s house … He wants to kill Amelia because of the dishonor she caused to him. She protests against his decision saying to him she is innocent and she asks him to see her son for the last time. He re-thinks over the situation and realizes that, actually, Riccardo is the one who ought to die, not his wife. That’s why he starts looking for revenge. He meets the two conspirators and tells them he will be one of them. His sincerity is guaranteed by his son’s life. Amelia is made to choose the name of the “winner” and it’s Renato. At this moment Oscar comes with the invitations for the masked ball. The three rebels agree on the fact that the ball is the best place for the assassination of Riccardo.
Riccardo can’t stand the situation in which he is, being among love and duty. That’s the reason why he reaches a decision to send Amelia and Renato back to England. Renato tries to get to know from Oscar what Riccardo’s ball costume will be. The soldier doesn’t want to reveal the secret to him but finally he says that their king is going to wear a black cloak with a red ribbon. The ruler manages to recognize Amelia among the guests and tells her about his decision. While Riccardo and Renato are saying goodbye, Renato pierces him with his knife. Wounded Riccardo reveals that Amelia has never broken their wedding vow and has always been faithful to him. The king forgives all of the rebels, says farewell to all his friends and his country and he dies.