Falstaff

SF Opera's Falstaff

Falstaff-terfel-arteta * Notes * 
Lyric Opera of Chicago's current production of Falstaff (Act II, Scene 2 pictured left with Ainhoa Arteta as Alice Ford and Bryn Terfel as Sir John Falstaff, photograph by Cory Weaver) had an opening performance at San Francisco Opera yesterday. The set, from Frank Philipp Schlössmann, is a bit like a pop-up book made of wood. The pauses between scenes are fairly minimal. Maestro Nicola Luisotti had the orchestra sounding robust and lush. There were times when the singing was lost, this was especially evident at the end of Act I, when the male and female ensembles share the stage.

There was much fine singing all around. Joel Sorensen is a hysterical, mincing Dr. Caius. Greg Fedderly (Bardolfo) and Andrea Silvestrelli (Pistola) sounded great and are wonderful actors. Fabio Capitanucci had some nice moments as Ford, though his voice occasionally was overwhelmed by the orchestra. Francesco Demuro sounded reedy and youthful as Fenton, and only had a bit of strain in some of his higher notes.

Renée Rapier is a charming Meg Page, and Meredith Arwady a very funny and rich-voiced Dame Quickly. Heidi Stober is perfectly adorable as Nanetta and sings with a warm brightness. Ainhoa Arteta sparkled as Alice Ford, her icy, brilliant voice is never harsh.

Despite the rather even cast, Bryn Terfel is the clear star of the show. Not only did he embody the title character in all his movements, but his voice is simply a marvel. He sang with velvety warmth but also buoyant lightness when appropriate.

* Tattling * 
Standing room attendance was sparse. I arrived at 7:15pm and had Standing Room Ticket 19.

There was much use of mobile phones during the pauses between scenes. It seems that young people do not take the announcement to turn off electronic devices seriously. That said, I did not hear any rings or alerts at the back of the balcony.


Bayerische Staatsoper's 2008-2009 Season

October 2 2008- July 24 2009: Macbeth
October 4-11 2008: Das Gehege / Salome
October 5 2008- July 13 2009: Norma
October 19-25 2008: Die Bassariden
October 23- November 2 2008: Eugene Onegin
November 1-6 2008: Die Entführung aus dem Serail
November 8 2008- May 21 2009: Der fliegende Holländer
November 10 2008- January 31 2009: Wozzeck
November 22 2008- March 27 2009: Tamerlano
November 24 2008- July 26 2009: Luisa Miller
November 28 2008- July 7 2009: Werther
December 9-14 2008: Doktor Faustus
December 13-18 2008: Hänsel und Gretel
December 17 2008- May 31 2009: La Bohème
December 21-28 2008: Die Zauberflöte
December 23 2008- June 15 2009: La Traviata
December 31 2008- February 24 2009: Die Fledermaus
January 4-10 2009: Carmen
January 19- July 14 2009: Palestrina
February 2-18 2009: Elektra
February 7- July 22 2009: Nabucco
February 20-26 2009: La Calisto
February 23- July 6 2009: Lucrezia Borgia
March 1- July 31 2009: Falstaff
March 14- July 30 2009: Otello
April 8- July 9 2009: Jenůfa
April 9-12 2009: Parsifal
April 26- May 2 2009: Così fan tutte
May 13-15 2009: Madama Butterfly
May 16-23 2009: Le Nozze di Figaro
June 8-30 2009: Aida
July 5-19 2009: Lohengrin
July 13-20 2009: Ariadne auf Naxos
June 14- July 30 2009: Idomeneo

Nicola Luisotti is conducting a new production of Macbeth next season at the Bavarian State Opera. Željko Lučić sings the title role, Nadja Michael sings Lady Macbeth, and Dimitri Pittas is Macduff. Anna Netrebko sings in the May performances of La Bohème, with Joseph Calleja as her Rodolfo. John Relyea sings Colline. Relyea is also singing the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro, with Lucas Meachem as the Count. Angela Gheorghiu is Violetta Valéry in the June performances of La Traviata, singing opposite Jonas Kaufmann. Simon Keenlyside is Germont. Paolo Gavanelli sings the title role of Nabucco during the Münchner Opernfestspiele 2009. Earlier in the year he also sings Sharpless in Madama Butterfly.

New Productions for 2008-2009 | Official Site


Santa Fe Opera's 2008 Season

June 27- August 23 2008: Falstaff
June 28- August 22 2008: Le Nozze di Figaro
July 12- August 21 2008: Billy Budd
July 19- August 20 2008: Radamisto
July 26- August 12 2008: Adriana Mater

The next season at Santa Fe Opera includes the US premiere of Kaija Saariaho's newest opera. Naturally the production of Händel is from David Alden, whose work I am all too familiar with from Munich. David Daniels will be singing the title role of Radamisto. William Burden is singing Starry Vere in Billy Budd. Mariusz Kwiecien will be singing Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro.

Press Release | Season Overview


Aphasiac

Two weekends ago I went to see Falstaff with a friend who graduated in Linguistics with me. It was much fun, the opera is funny and the staging was excellent. They had a wonderful model landscape background that included minute houses and even cows, and they did a fabulous rainy scene at the beginning. The crayoning on the walls that Nannetta and Fenton do is a bit much though. I've been told by my composer friend that the opera is horribly unmelodic. I suppose it is true, there is a lot of tittering. Anna Netrebko, who played Nannetta, has a beautiful voice, and is also very lovely to look at. I wish I had seen her in L'elisir d'amore, but she didn't sing until later in the season.