Verdi’s Falstaff is brought to Nottingham Theatre Royal stage by Opera North
A 16th century Shakespeare play is brought to modern times to question intentions through a comic opera.
Falstaff is brought to the stage of Nottingham’s Theatre Royal by Opera North until Saturday, November 11.
The play based on Shakespeare’s Midwives of Windsor tells the story of the knight Sir John Falstaff who plays smart and tricky until he learns the lesson – who laughs last laughs best.
The opera gave the audience just over two hours of laughs, wicked humour and unexpected twists that will teach not only Falstaff a lesson but every single person on the chair.
There were two screens on each side of the stage with subtitles, transcribing what the actors were singing which was incredibly helpful to understand and engage more in the story.
Falstaff tells the story of the brave and heroic knight Falstaff performed by Henry Waddington, who has fallen on hard times and was reduced to living in a caravan with mounting debts and beer.
He tries to find solutions to his poverty by seducing two wealthy wives of Windsor, with his drunken tricks and love letters.
The play from the 16th century is brought to the 1980s as Falstaff meets the ladies at the tennis club, where all the trickery and lies start.
The two ladies, Alice Ford and Meg Page, who soon realised his wicked plans as he sent the same love letter to both, decided to teach Falstaff a lesson that he would never forget.
The opera approaches themes such as corruption, betrayal, jealousy and love.
However, the opera teaches that despite one thinking to be the smartest in the room, one should never play the player.
Despite every character having their own story and life, Falstaff manages to be involved in all of them, messing with relationships, friendships and society ranks.
Verdi’s Falstaff, which is a comic opera, was simply brutal and energetic, the continuous music adds to the storytelling and drama.
From the serenades to the intense music behind the fallen knight's corrupt intentions, the public is left in confusion and admiration at the same time as the character's voices join together filling up the room.
‘I was expecting to go to an opera and be amazed but not that I would leave it realising that despite being rich, poor, short or tall, male or female, everything in the world is a mockery, everyone makes fun of each other and at the end of the day what is so wrong about a bit of a laugh?’ – MT