Falstaff at Maggio Musicale from November 19 to December 5, 2021
The highly anticipated new production of Giuseppe Verdi's last opera
On Friday 19 November (with performances on 21, 23, 30 November and 3 and 5 December), the Maggio Musicale will stage its fourth opera in the programme: the eagerly awaited, brand new production of Falstaff by Giuseppe Verdi, directed by Sven-Erich Bechtolf (with his experienced staff: Julian Crouch on stage and Kevin Pollard on costumes, Alex Brok on lighting and Josh Higgason on video) and conducted by one of the greatest conductors of our time, Maestro John Eliot Gardiner.
In the title role Nicola Alaimo with whom he made his debut in Pisa in 2006 and then consecrated in 2013 in New York under the baton of James Levine, since then it is one of his most acclaimed performances which also earned him an Abbiati Prize in 2016. Alaimo returns to the Maggio after his personal successes as Michonnet in Adriana Lecouvreur, which opened the last edition of the 83rd Maggio Festival, and as Fra Melitone in La forza del destino, conducted by Zubin Mehta and directed by Carlus Padrissa last June 2021. With him in the role of Ford Simone Piazzola, Xabier Anduaga (Fenton), Paolo Antognetti (Doctor Cajus), Antiono Garès (Bardolfo), Alessandro Spina (Pistola). Ailyn Pérez, who returns to the Maggio after Giacomo Puccini's La rondine last September, is Alice Ford, Sara Mingardo will be Mrs. Quickly, and Meg Page will be Vasilisa Berzhanskaya; Francesca Aspromonte will be Nannetta.
TWO WORDS ABOUT FALSTAFF
Falstaff is the only comic opera, and the last opera, in Verdi's production. Throughout his life, Verdi had pursued the dream of writing a comic opera without ever finding the right subject. But at the age of 80, that dream came true with Falstaff, the result of yet another collaboration with Arrigo Boito. On 9 February 1893, Falstaff made its debut at the Teatro alla Scala to great success. After more than fifty years spent transferring the dramas and torments of the human soul into music, Verdi bade farewell to the world of opera with the sly smile of someone who has experimented with everything to the utmost degree and still continues to do so. And Falstaff's score abounds in musical experimentation. We need only think of the pseudo-symphonic sonata-form that opens the first act, of the fugue buffa that closes the opera, a playful page of admirable collective virtuosity, of the supple and flowing declamations that suddenly open up to moments of ample and unexpected cantabile. Falstaff is the work of an amusing and amused Verdi. After all, as the final theme song says: "Tutto nel mondo è burla. Man was born a joker".