An uproarious snapshot of small-town English life.
Verdi’s Falstaff is a comedy as wise as it is witty – a generous belly-laugh after a career of dark, knotty dramas. Inspired by Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, and particularly its larger-than-life hero Sir John Falstaff, Verdi’s opera collides English subtlety with Italian ebullience to create a perfect comic evening.
Ageing roué Sir John Falstaff decides to try his charms on not one but two of Windsor’s housewives. Amused at the audacity of this unlikely seducer, the women of the town all come together to teach him a lesson he’ll never forget…
Updated to a post-war Windsor of pompous ex-army officers, redoubtable Brownie leaders and lovesick GIs, Richard Jones’ production is less Tudor than mock-Tudor – an updating that brings a zany, sitcom energy to this classic comedy. Vladimir Jurowski conducts a cast led by British bass-baritone Christopher Purves.
Falstaff was captured live at Festival 2009.