When it came to Giuseppe Verdi’s final drama, composed when he was well into his 70s, you might expect that he'd have written the most tragic opera of them all. Instead, again turning to Shakespeare, he did exactly the opposite. With Falstaff, Verdi may have written the most cheerful and optimistic valedictory by any great artist. And for the brilliant, final chorus -- with its ultimate sentiment that "all the world is a joke" -- Verdi wrote a carefree, buoyant fugue.
This new production of Falstaff comes from London's Royal Opera House Covent Garden theatre. The stars include baritone Ambrogio Maestri in the title role, soprano Ana Maria Martinez as Alice Ford, and mezzo-soprano Marie-Nicole Lemieux as Mistress Quickly, in a performance led by conductor Daniele Gatti.
Conductor: Daniele Gatti
Falstaff: Ambrogio Maestri (baritone)
Alice Ford: Ana Maria Martinez (soprano)
Meg Page: Kai Rüütel (mezzo-soprano)
Mistress Quickly: Marie-Nicole Lemieux (mezzo-soprano)
Ford: Dalibor Jenis (baritone)
Nannetta: Amanda Forsythe (soprano)
Fenton: Joel Prieto (tenor)
Bardolph: Alasdair Elliott (tenor)
Pistol: Lukas Jakobski (bass)
Dr. Caius: Carlo Bosi (tenor)
Royal Opera House Orchestra and Chorus