Scribe's libretto to Verdi's 'A Masked Ball' concerns the real-life assassination of King Gustave III of Sweden at a masked ball in 1792 but adds a love story to what was probably a political murder. The King, Ricardo, is in love with Amelia, wife of his friend Renato. Renato warns the King to beware a plot to kill him. The King visits Ulrica the mystic, and she says he will die by the next friendly hand he shakes. While he is there, Amelia (in disguise) also visits Ulrica to ask for a magic herb to rid her of her illicit love for Ricardo. She leaves to see it, pursued by the King, but as he leaves Renato enters and the two shake hands.
At the gallows, Ricardo and Amelia speak of their love but are found by Renato who thinks he has been betrayed. He prepares to kill Amelia but relents and turns on the King, joining the conspirators and being chosen to commit the murder. The ball begins, Amelia urges the King (who meanwhile has resolved to give her up) to leave but he refuses and is stabbed. Too late does Renato realise the innocence of the lovers and he is overcome by remorse.
This is the Schirmer edition of the Vocal Score with an English version by Peter Paul Fuchs.