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In its essence, Giuseppe Verdi’s 1859 opera “Un ballo in maschera” (“A Masked Ball”) is a love story set against a political background. Riccardo, the governor, is in love with Amelia, the wife of his friend and aide, Renato. Amelia is also secretly in love with Riccardo, but tries to suppress that love. Swirling in the background are plots to assassinate the...