On the Met’s Falstaff 2013

This year opera geeks celebrated Verdi’s 200th birthday. The Met celebrated with a new production of Falstaff by Robert Carsen. What a wonderful idea to remember a man’s life by showing his last and funniest opera. Also, how wonderful that Verdi’s last opera was so light-hearted and positive (comparing to his other operas, in particular.) His final message is the one of celebrating life, with all its pleasures: love, wine, women, sex, laughter.

This production was set in 1950s and it really worked. Somehow, it made the comedy more relevant and easier to relate to. The set designer, Paul Steinberg and his team have done an incredible job and nailed that theme with thousands of authentic props.

Ambarogio Maestri plays Sir John Falstaff in the most amazing and compelling manner. Last night was his 202nd performance of Falstaff and it’s instantly understandable why he is famous in this role. In my opinion, it’s extremely difficult to be a comic actor and not get very annoying very quickly. Only a few actors who are born to entertain can manage that. Ambarogio is without a doubt one of them and is an absolute pleasure to watch and listen to.

Conducted by James Lavine, the music is very intricate, particularly in the first and second act. So this opera doesn’t flow from one aria to the other as some others. This makes it feel very spontaneous and adds to its charm and unique energy.

The last message of Falstaff was that we are all clowns and the whole world is nothing but a joke but he who laughs last, laughs best. Leaving the opera on such a positive note was very enjoyable and I will gladly give this production 5 stars.

(picture by http://www.metoperafamily.org )

On the Met’s Falstaff 2013

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2 Responses to “On the Met’s Falstaff 2013”

  1. On the Royal Opera’s production of Parsifal | Olga Ivannikova's Blog Says:

    […] On politics (liberal kind), culture, geekery and gaming. « On the Met’s Falstaff 2013 […]

  2. Paul Foxcroft Says:

    First Falstaff I have seen. Magnificent!

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