Posted by Kiersten Hay / in Falstaff / comments (0) / permalink
Get an insider look at our gorgeous and hilarious production of Verdi’s comic masterpiece Falstaff! This Inside Opera instalment features rehearsal footage and interviews with bass-baritone Gerald Finley, director Robert Carsen and COC Music Director and Falstaff conductor Johannes Debus.
Falstaff plays for seven performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, from October 3 to November 1.
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By C. Ian Kyer
In 1995 when American bass-baritone John Del Carlo was preparing to sing the lead in Falstaff at the Schwetzinger Festspiele, he had to do extra training. He had sung Verdi’s Falstaff before but this time was very different, because what he was singing was not the work of Arrigo Boito and Giuseppe Verdi. This Falstaff featured a libretto by Carlo Prospers Defranceschi with music by none other than Mozart’s infamous rival, Antonio Salieri. To Del Carlo’s surprise he found the work both entertaining and musically interesting.
The two Falstaffs were both the work of mature and celebrated composers. Verdi’s Falstaff was in fact his 26th and last opera. He had said that he fired his last cartridge with Otello (1887) but in 1889, at age 76, he began to set another libretto based on Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. Verdi and his librettist called it Falstaff, after the lead character in Shakespeare’s play, Sir John Falstaff, and it premiered at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala on February 9, 1893.
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001