A tale about the grim consequences of the love triangle -- the odd man out always gets stuck on the point -- Verdi's Un ballo in maschera was inspired by the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden. In Verdi's capable hands this becomes a tale of Colonial America, with Riccardo (the governor of Boston) pining for Amelia, who is the wife of his best friend, Renato. Amelia secretly loves Riccardo as well, a fact he discovers through the agency of local fortune teller, Ulrica. Riccardo and Amelia's love is discovered by Renato, who then plots to kill his now-former best friend to get even. What should be a glittering masked ball becomes a scene of bloodshed and betrayal, and then forgiveness. Try to keep a dry eye during "Ma se m'e forza perderti" ("But if I am forced to lose you"), Riccardo's aria about duty winning out over his heart. Union Avenue Opera presents Un ballo in maschera at Union Avenue Christian Church (733 North Union Boulevard; 314-361-8844) Friday and Saturday June 29 through July 7. All performances are at 8 p.m., and tickets are $30 to $52.
Fri., June 29, 8 p.m.; Sat., June 30, 8 p.m.; Fri., July 6, 8 p.m.; Sat., July 7, 8 p.m., 2012