My husband and I went to see Edmonton Opera's production of Falstaff last night. We had such a good time! I absolutely loved it. The cast performed impressively, both as singers and as actors. My husband and I were particularly impressed with the amusing antics of John Fanning as Falstaff and Christiane Riel as Alice Ford. Colin Ainsworth and Nikki Einfeld were charming as the young lovers Fenton and Nanetta.
The liberetto for Verdi's Falstaff is taken from William Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor. In the story, Sir John Falstaff is a fat old knight who has fallen on hard times. In an attempt to better his financial situation, he chases after two married noblewomen. The ladies discover that he has been going after both of them at the same time and resolve to make him pay for his indiscretions. Much hilarity ensues when the husband of one of the ladies decides to catch Falstaff in the act...
This opera proved yet again that these stories are meant to be seen and heard. I have heard Falstaff on the radio countless times as part of the Metropolitan Opera's Satarday Texaco broadcast. I always enjoyed the music, but it was impossible for me just how funny the second act is until I saw it for myself. My husband and I were both laughing out loud(at intermission he remarked that it was just like a telenovela!).
I'm constantly impressed with the quality of the Edmonton Opera. When I first came here, I never would have believed that a prairie town in the middle of the frozen north (sorry, Canada) would have such a great opera. Going to the opera has been one of the things that have kept me from missing Seattle too dreafully. It's truly one of the best things about Edmonton.
One of the most exciting part of the night was when the director announced the "lineup" for next season. Edmonton Opera will be performing Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, Donizetti's Daughter of the Regiment and Verdi's La Traviata. In addition to the regular season, they'll also be offering tickets to Bizet's The Pearl Fishers (almost everyone has heard that opera's beautiful men's duet, "Au Fond du Temple Saint"). I can hardly wait!