More than a century after its premiere at La Scala in Milan, Italy, Verdi’s “Falstaff” continues to charm audiences with its humor, lovable characters, and magnificent score. The Maryland Lyric Opera’s (MDLO) production of “Falstaff” is no exception, featuring soloists with tremendous vocal talent, the always impressive MDLO orchestra under the baton of Joseph Colaneri, and the superb MDLO Chorus, led by Husan Park.
If you have yet to explore the wonderful world of opera, MDLO is offering the ideal opportunity to experience this incomparable art form for yourself.
An opera in three acts, “Falstaff” is a comic tale about the vain and pompous Sir John Falstaff (Bass Baritone, Mark Delavan) who decides to seduce Alice Ford (Soprano, Mary Feminear) and Meg Page (Mezzo Soprano, Allegra da Vita) in an attempt to steal their rich husbands’ money. Plotting and outrageous antics ensue as wives, husbands, and lovers fool and are fooled, leaving the entire cast to conclude that “Tutto nel mondo è burla … Tutti gabbati!…Ma ride ben chi ride La risata final (“Everything in the world is a jest … but he laughs well who laughs the final laugh”).
Ford (Baritone, Brian Major) displays his rich and resonant baritone in a stirring rendition of “È sogno o realtà?” (“Is it a dream or reality?”), and Falstaff delivered a comical, “Quand’ero paggio del Duca di Norfolk” (“When I was page to the Duke of Norfolk, I was slender”). Fenton (Tenor, Yi Li), a young suitor who makes use of the ongoing shenanigans to finally marry his beloved, sings an expressive and heartfelt “Dal labbro il canto estasiato vola”(“From my lips, a song of ecstasy flies”).
MDLO’s operas make effective use of projection screens by Projection Designer Sarah Tundermann. For this production, a village square, a townscape, and Heme’s haunted oak tree appear on the screen along with the always helpful English supertitles. Costumes consisted of standard concert attire, women in gowns, and men in tuxedos.
MDLO is providing world-class opera productions at reasonable prices with the goal of making opera accessible to all. If you have yet to explore the wonderful world of opera, MDLO is offering the ideal opportunity to experience this incomparable art form for yourself.
Running time: Two hours and 20 minutes with one 20-minute intermission.
Verdi’s “Falstaff” runs January 20 and 22, 2023, at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852. To buy tickets or for more information about the Maryland Lyric Opera, click here. The opera is sung in Italian with projected English supertitles.