FALSTAFF

GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813 — 1901)

OPERA BUFFA IN THREE ACTS
LIBRETTO BY ARRIGO BOITO, BASED ON THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR AND HENRY IV PARTS I AND II BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
FIRST PERFORMED AT THE SCALA THEATER IN MILAN ON 9TH FEBRUARY 1893 AND AT THE OPÉRA-COMIQUE IN PARIS ON 18TH APRIL 1894
Conductor
Daniele Rustioni
Stage Director
Barrie Kosky
Stage and Costume Designer
Katrin Lea Tag
Lighting Designer
Franck Evin
Dramaturge
Olaf A. Schmitt
Sir John Falstaff
Christopher Purves
Ford
Stéphane Degout*
Fenton
Juan Francisco Gatell
Mrs Alice Ford
Carmen Giannattasio
Mrs Quickly
Daniela Barcellona
Nannetta
Giulia Semenzato*
Mrs Meg Page
Antoinette Dennefeld
Dottore Cajus
Gregory Bonfatti
Bardolfo
Rodolphe Briand
Pistola
Antonio di Matteo
Chorus and Orchestra
Chœur et Orchestre de l’Opéra de Lyon
*former artists of the Académie

NEW PRODUCTION OF THE FESTIVAL D’AIX-EN-PROVENCE
A COPRODUCTION WITH OPÉRA NATIONAL DE LYON, KOMISCHE OPER BERLIN, BOLSHOÏ THEATER OF RUSSIA

— WITH THE SUPPORT OF MADAME ALINE FORIEL-DESTEZET, GRANDE DONATRICE EXCLUSIVE DU THÉÂTRE DE L’ARCHEVÊCHÉ

The comic character may, strictly speaking, be quite in accord with stern morality. All it has to do is to bring itself into accord with society.

Henri Bergson, Laughter (1899)

Falstaff is Verdi’s spiritual last will and testament, a late-life work in which he embraced the challenge of an entire lifetime—i.e., the desire to win renown for comic opera. In this comical masterpiece, things sparkle and shine, and unfold in a single movement, with rare wit and refinement, culminating in an enchanting extravaganza. Daniele Rustioni and the Orchestra of the Opéra de Lyon create a veritable marvel, and impel the comic force of the colourful troupe, who have been perfectly chosen for this work. But who, pray tell, is Falstaff? He is both superb and ridiculous, an aging playboy, a penniless knight, and an incorrigible optimist: undoubtedly, the composer recognized himself in this figure of the insufferable yet endearing old man. Barrie Kosky transforms him into a carnivalesque figure, thus taking us back to the very origins of our culture via this excessive being who turns to his vices of food, drink and sex in an effort to combat his fear of death. He is also a true loner, but one who wishes to be loved, and who has constructed a bitter-sweet philosophy of life: “The whole world is a farce, and man is born a fool.” This profound reflection on life, in which something existential springs forth from the banal, is a distinctive feature of Verdi’s genius.

Thursday 1 July 2021
9:30pm
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Saturday 3 July 2021
9:30pm
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Tuesday 6 July 2021
9:30pm
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Thursday 8 July 2021
9:30pm
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Saturday 10 July 2021
9:30pm
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Tuesday 13 July 2021
9:30pm
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Tickets €30, €55, €80, €120, €160, €200, €290
Youth Tickets €9
Family Opera tariff
Performance available with ticket packages and Prestige offer

2h25 with one interval

Sung in Italian with French and English surtitles