Theatre Review: Opera North – Falstaff

Opera North yet again treated Nottingham Theatre Royal to a feast, for the eyes, ears and soul.

What especially did we enjoy last night?  Standout for me was the set designed by Leslie Travers with the green motto, recycle, reduce, reuse.  For example Falstaff’s gaff was an actual 1970’s caravan ‘parked’ in an inn’s car park, I kid you not, it worked marvellously and will certainly be memorable. 

Now to the story, Falstaff is said to be the character that Shakespeare relished using he appears in at least 3 of his plays.  The play used for the Opera ‘Falstaff’ is Merry Wives of Windsor so we have the River Thames and Windsor Great Park as ideal locations.

Falstaff if you don’t know was a quick witted loveable rogue however as a younger man, now we find him old even more conceited and with an ever bigger belly , yet he still feels he can attract women though.

The orchestra last night conducted by Garry Walker was in fine form enjoying Verdi’s sprightly composition, bearing in mind Verdi was in his 70’s when he sat to write Falstaff.  Verdi loved Shakespeare and this comes across, as there are direct passages taken from Henry IV, he also shows compassion to the character of Falstaff.

Nannetta performed by Isabelle Peters caught my attention and that of her beau, Master Fenton sung by Egor Zhuravskii , delightful.

The program for ‘Falstaff’ is really comprehensive and really worth the money.

Falstaff is on again at Theatre Royal Nottingham Saturday 11th November 2pm get your tickets here

Review by Ann Taylor

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