Verdi's last opera is often superficially regarded as pure rollicking fun with the fat old knight getting his come-uppance in Boito's adaptation of sections of Shakespeare's Merry wives of Windsor and Henry IV parts I and II. It is in fact one of the most subtle of all operas which despite all its froth and brilliance is pervaded with a feeling of nostalgia and sadness around decline and ageing. It is also an opera of surpassing genius requiring virtuoso ensemble work by a large orchestra, chorus and solo cast. Not, in fact, something to tackle under less than ideal circumstances. Enter the intrepid Scottish Opera. Determined to offer serious operatic red meat to their starved audiences they have worked with one of the world's leading directors , Scot Sir David McVicar to produce Falstaff for outdoor performance in co-production with Santa Fe Opera who also perform in the open air. Performances took place between 3 and 14 July (Scottish Opera | Falstaff 2021) and will also take place at the Edinburgh International Festival at the Festival Theatre where, as opera creeps back indoors, 400 people will be able to see and hear the cast onstage with the orchestra separated to maintain social distancing. (Falstaff | Edinburgh International Festival (eif.co.uk)Things truly are getting better.
Falstaff from the Royal Opera conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini click here