As a big Shakespeare fan, I was interested in seeing Giuseppe Verdi’s final opera Falstaff, a work which draws on the Bard’s plays – particularly The Merry Wives of Windsor – to create a portrait of the famous fictional carouser.
Starring the charismatic Ambrogio Maestri in the title role, the production employs a 1950s setting that emphasises the coldness and calculating nature of pretty much all the characters involved – giving a new perspective to Shakespeare’s own work as well as the opera itself. There are humorous moments too, and I admit I was delighted at the appearance of the horse in the second act. I enjoyed the music but it isn’t the most memorable I’ve come across. Nevertheless, an amusing watch.