Verdi's Falstaff

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

A scene from Verdi's 'Falstaff' with Ambrogio Maestri in the title role. A scene from Verdi's 'Falstaff' with Ambrogio Maestri in the title role. (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)

This Saturday at 1 pm, the Metropolitan Opera presents director Robert Carsen's Falstaff – the first new production of the Verdi opera performed at the Met since 1964. 

Carsen's Falstaff updates the action, originally set in the 16th century, to post-World War II England. Ambrogio Maestri plays a financially impaired Falstaff intent on seducing one of two wealthy married women to cover his debts. The production features Angela Meade as Alice Ford, Jennifer Johnson Cano as Meg Page, and soprano Lisa Oropesa as a pixieish Nannetta. An impressive Stephanie Blythe makes an appearance as Mistress Quickly as well.

James Levine returns to conduct Verdi's melancholic comedy.


Conductor: James Levine
Nannetta: Lisette Oropesa
Alice: Angela Meade
Mrs. Quickly: Stephanie Blythe
Meg Page: Jennifer Johnson Cano
Fenton: Paolo Fanale
Falstaff: Ambrogio Maestri
Ford: Franco Vassallo

Comments [4]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

FALSTAFF IS EVERYTHING to enjoy, and one automatically sympathizes with its central figure, whose hedonistic nature to enjoy eating, drinking, womanizing and plotting bractical jokes is part of his "rounded' figure. Many years back I performed in the American premiere of Sir Ralph Vaughn Williams' 'SIR JOHN IN LOVE" which used the original SHAKESEPEARE TEXTS and had the orchestral version of GREENSLEEVES which became the theme music for a popular radio program starting at midnite. As we know the beautiful GREENSLEEVES predated even SHAKESPEARE's birth. That any composer at age 80 would have the attraction of a comic opera to set him to compose so bountiful a score, so rich in characterization and subtexting in the orchestra and be so rich in orchestral colors and so melodic throughout. FALSTAFF is unico. The cast is ideal especially, of course, AMBROGIO MAESTRI as Fakstaff and STEPHANIE BLYTHE as Dame Quickly. MAESTRO JAMES LEVINE LOVES THIS WORK AND IT SHOWS!!! Bravo, Maestro Levine, it's our best holiday present to have back your inspiring conducting. I, a Wagnerian heldentenor, will sing the complete Wesendonck Lieder (Wagner), the complete Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Mahler), the tenor solos from Das Lied von der Erde (Mahler) and Waldemar’s music from Gurrelieder (Schoenberg) at the New Life Expo at the Pennsylvania Hotel in New York City on Saturday March 22nd, 2014. It is to be DVDed by Vlalhalla Records. The accompanying collaborator pianist is ROLF BARNES. I teach voice and coach actors in all the Shakespeare roles and big-voiced singers in all the Wagner roles at the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute in Boonton, NJ. .

Dec. 14 2013 03:44 PM
Robb from NYC

It's great listening to Falstaff today, having seen the production in London, and being able to "see" it as well as hear the fabulous Stephanie Blythe as Quickly - Riverenza e Brava!

Dec. 14 2013 02:44 PM


Dec. 14 2013 02:30 PM
Sarah E from Bronx

I love Verdi's Falstaff. Unlike most Operas, no sad ending, no dead bodies everywhere, and no nut jobs. The only thing learned is that you do not try to be a player to two women who are A, married, B know each other, and C like each other. Outside of that, all you get out of this opera is great music, and that in this day and age, is no small thing.
Thank You.

Dec. 14 2013 01:57 PM

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