A second helping for Carsen’s delicious Falstaff at the Royal Opera

Verdi: Falstaff *****

Royal Opera, 6th July 2015

Ambrogio Maestri (Falstaff) © Catherine Ashmore | ROH

Ambrogio Maestri (Falstaff)
© Catherine Ashmore | ROH

If “all the world’s a jest”, as Sir John Falstaff claims at the end of Verdi’s final operatic masterpiece, then we need players – and directors – with a sense of frivolity. While Robert Carsen’s bed-hopping A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been delighting audiences in Aix-en-Provence, another of his finest creations received its first Covent Garden revival. Carsen’s Falstaff has trotted the globe since its 2012 debut, mostly featuring the reassuringly ample presence of Ambrogio Maestri as the fat knight. Yet not a hint of routine marred the Italian baritone’s performance in this joyous evening, which had me purring with pleasure.

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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