Falstaff at the Edmonton Opera

falstaff Back in February I went to see the Edmonton Opera’s production of H.M.S. Pinafore. As a first-timer, I was pleasantly surprised! I can honestly say I had a good time and enjoyed the opera. With that in mind, I agreed to check out Falstaff on Saturday with Sharon. Here’s the description from Wikipedia:

Falstaff is an operatic commedia lirica in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, adapted by Arrigo Boito from Shakespeare’s plays The Merry Wives of Windsor and scenes from Henry IV. It was Verdi’s last opera, written in the composer’s eighth decade, and only the second of his twenty-six operas to be a comedy.

It was entertaining enough, but I didn’t enjoy Falstaff nearly as much as H.M.S. Pinafore. I think I took a few things for granted. For one thing, Pinafore was in English, so the subtitles weren’t completely necessary. They were for Falstaff though. Pinafore starred my favorite, Jeff Haslam. The characters were more interesting. By comparison, Falstaff seemed sort of boring. We also had pizza and beer during the intermission at Pinafore, which probably made more of a difference than I expected.

In short, Falstaff was closer to the image of opera that I have always had in my head. Interesting, but not really my thing.

Before the show they played a video introducing the lineup for next season. Edmonton Opera will perform Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, Donizetti’s Daughter of the Regiment, and Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers. The “plus one” performance will be Verdi’s La Traviata. Every time they announced one of the titles, the audience seemed to gasp with delight. Sharon and I just looked at each other, puzzled. I guess it helps if you’ve heard of them before!

Sharon’s write-up is here.