The Danish Opera by Carl Nielsen “Maskarade” is performed in Danish (with English subtitles) at the Vittum Theater, located at 1012 N. Noble St. in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood
In this country, where it is dark eleven months of the year, and we splash about in slush and water, we would probably die of rot and mildew if we did not, like toads in the pond, leap into the air once in a while and catch the sun on our skin. By bathing in the cascade of dance and song and light and fire called Masquerade.
Maskarade is an opera in three acts by Carl Nielsen, based on the 1724 comedy by Ludvig Holberg. Known as the Danish national opera, this light-hearted comedy centers on the titular masquerade, a place where all may abandon the constraints of their rigid society, experiencing instead the Enlightenment ideals of liberty and equality. As the servant Henrik (a forebear of Beaumarchais’ Figaro) notes, the masquerade offers a sense of joie de vivre in a land where life is often cold and gloomy.
The story revolves around Leander and Leonora, two young lovers who meet fortuitously at a masquerade ball and exchange rings. When Leander tells his valet of his newfound love, complications arise due to arranged marriages and meddling fathers. Though revelry at the night’s masquerade has been forbidden, naturally all slink off to enjoy dancing and delights. In the end, all is revealed to everyone’s mutual satisfaction. The final scene of the opera shows a bittersweet recognition of human mortality, and the importance of finding happiness to brighten it.
JANUARY 18, 19, 21, 23, 24, 25 at 7:30pm // Tickets: $32 Adult, $16 Students & Seniors (60+)