Joined: 04 Apr 2007
|Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:40 pm Post subject: Falstaff in Cardiff
|I had written a decent review of Falstaff but it got lost together will all I had on my laptop - SO annoying
I don't remember much of what I had written but I do remember something of what I have seen!
Loved the "wooden" sets, and the multicoloured costumes! Bryn in that red costume is a joy to watch; I don't remember who said he looks like a big tomato in that costume but he does.
I also liked Peter Stein's direction - I had only seen his "Parsifal" and I can't said I liked his work in that one, where for most of the time all the characters stood still in some place, singing. Silly of me to expect something similar for Falstaff - obviously the two operas have nothing in common, and here everything was as lively as it should be...
Falstaff is no doubt an ensemble piece, and the whole thing would be a mess without a talented cast - my favourites were Christopher Purves as Ford (his "╔ sogno? O realtÓ" was one of the highlights of the evening) and Janice Watson as his wife Alice.
Can't fault Rhys Meirion's Fenton either, only...He's an amazing performer but after a couple of minutes I realized that with that hair he looked like Mel Gibson!
I was still trying to make that thought go away when, in his duet with Nannetta, he used an imaginary bow to shoot an arrow...at that point I gave up and then kept seeing Braveheart among the merry people of Windsor
I wouldn't know what to say that has not been said, and better, about Bryn's Falstaff. Every time he talks about this role he says how much he loves to play Sir John, and you could easily tell by watching his performance. It's also apparent that he just loves to work with children, and the young page was one of the stars of the evening - I was glad that he got a huge cheer at the end. It looked like he too was having a lot of fun, and I'm sure that jumping on the "red knight"'s huge belly is one of the funniest thing one can get to do on a stage
Sir John is the man around whom all the "pieces" revolve, and every time Bryn was there it was impossible to take your eyes off him...because if you had you would have risked missing a word, a gesture, one of the many little details he uses to make the character alive. His Falstaff is at the same time majestic and grotesque, noble and vulgar, glorious in his enormity...And glorious in his voice, capable to go in an instant from roar to whisper to laugh.
I won't spoil the brilliant ending for those who haven't seen it yet but it was great...I can't wait to see it again on the web and hopefully on DVD!