A ruler, his friend and his wife. A love triangle as it stands in the book: the soprano between tenor and baritone. But in Verdi's Ballo in maschera all protagonists have two faces. Riccardo, the governor, is celebrated as a just sovereign, but he flees his responsibility and takes refuge in distracting distraction out of weariness - the ultimate attraction for a person like him can only be to risk one's own life.
Renato loves Riccardo, his friend, almost more than his wife; and she, Amelia, not only wants to kill off her feelings for Riccardo, but possibly even more. Ulrica, the fortune teller, is the underlying power that evokes an irresistible pull of death in people - until the dance on the volcano culminates in a fatal masked ball. Composed for Naples in 1858, the opera was not allowed to be shown there for reasons of censorship; after a thorough revision, it was then premiered in Rome and remains one of Verdi's most played, but also most enigmatic, works to this day.