“Beautifully judged”: Gwyn Hughes Jones and Mary Elizabeth Williams impress in Welsh National Opera’s Un ballo in maschera

12 February 2019

On 9 February 2019 a new production of Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera opened at the Wales Millennium Centre featuring Mary Elizabeth Williams as Amelia and Gwyn Hughes Jones making his role debut as Riccardo. They have already received a number of excellent reviews:

Outstanding is Mary Elizabeth Williams’s Amelia, a morose, somewhat one-dimensional role with, though, riveting, difficult, beautiful music over a big range, much exposed in the gallows scene here by placing her a good deal downstage with her back to the horrors. She never puts a foot wrong; this is wonderful Verdi singing. The Riccardo, Gwyn Hughes Jones, is likewise completely on top of his more vivid part

Stephen Walsh, The Arts Desk

...solo cello intertwining with Mary Elizabeth Williams’s heartbreaking plea, as Amelia, to see her son one last time. Williams and Gwyn Hughes Jones appeared in Forza, and up their game as Riccardo and Amelia. Their love duet, lit by pure white, is beautifully judged.

Rebecca Franks, The Times

Gwyn Hughes Jones, whose voice seems to gain new layers of beauty and power every time I hear him, has never sounded more resplendent than here as the Governor, Riccardo

Mark Valencia, Bachtrack

tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones and soprano Mary Elizabeth Williams reinforce the successful pairing of last year’s La Forza del Destino, their singing as distinguished as it is moving... Hughes Jones is in excellent voice throughout as Riccardo... Williams combines gleaming top and luxuriant richness with wonderful assurance

Rian Evans, The Guardian

Un ballo in maschera runs until 23 February at the Wales Millennium Centre, before touring to Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Plymouth, Bristol and Llandudno. Further information is available on the Welsh National Opera website

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