Picks and Pans Review: Un Ballo in Maschera

updated 02/18/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/18/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

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Why is this Verdi opera, based on the murder of a Swedish king, set in 18th-century Boston? One answer: The original production was scheduled to premiere in 1858 in Naples, but the city's ruler—known as "King Bomba" for his habit of answering protesters' demands with cannon fire—decided that a drama about regicide set in Europe might give his subjects ideas. Katia Ricciarelli and Luciano Pavarotti star as Bostonians Amelia and Riccardo.

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