Anckarstroem, Capt.

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(Verdi: Un ballo in maschera). (Renato in Amer. vers.) Bar. Secretary and loyal friend of King Gustavus III. Married to Amelia, whom the King secretly loves. He uncovers a plot to overthrow the King and goes to warn him. He finds him with a lady who immediately covers her face with a veil. Advising the King to return safely to his palace, he himself escorts the veiled lady. They are accosted by conspirators and the lady's veil is removed. To Anckarstroem's horror, it is Amelia. Despite her protests of faithfulness, he vows to avenge himself by killing the King. He and his wife attend a masked ball at the palace. Under the pretext of needing to warn the King of enemies present, he persuades the pageboy Oscar to tell him which costume the King is wearing. He shoots Gustavus who, as he dies, swears that Amelia has remained faithful to her husband. Arias: Alla vita che t'arride (‘To our life with which you are favoured’); Eri tu che macchiavi quell'anima (‘It was you who stained that soul’). Nearly all famous Italianate baritones sing this role, and these have included Leonard Warren, Ettore Bastianini, Tito Gobbi, Robert Merrill, Cornell MacNeil, Sherrill Milnes, Piero Cappuccilli, Ingvar Wixell, Dietrich Fischer‐Dieskau, Renato Bruson, Leo Nucci, Giorgio Zancanaro, and Thomas Hampson. Created (1859) by Leone Giraldoni.

Subjects: Opera.

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