I went to see, hear, experience Falstaff by Giuseppe Verdi at the Metropolitan Opera House last Saturday. Conducted by the formerly sidelined by ill health and Met favorite, James Levine. It was a Christmas gift from my mother who is an huge opera buff. Over the years I have come to appreciate this most high art. Opera at its best is the merging of music, story and performance. I came to fully appreciate it when I saw these three elements come together in the Met’s production of Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia Di Lammermoor with the soprano, Natalie Dessay. I often pull elements out of music or paintings and assess them based on their particular role in the piece in addition to an overall impression. What is working in the work? Am I moved by it? And/or can I use it in my work? Not to suggest that I borrow ideas from opera for my alt-pop-rock-folk tunes heh. My first opera was Seigfried by Richard Wagner, the third opera of the four, Der Ring des Nibelungen, perfect for a kid! Dwarves and a dragon to boot!
This production of Falstaff was so wonderfully comic with little lazzi (comedic bits) strung throughout I thought it would be perfect for my nephews. Sir John Falstaff is a big, blustering, boastful drunkard of a character with two hilarious sidekicks. The whole cast was really excellent. The music suited the mood and visa versa. I realized afterwards that Falstaff was my first comedic opera. Partially, loosely based on The Merry Wives of Windsor. We saw two of the singers after the opera at a restaurant and my mother offered her thanks and warm appreciation. An opera singer’s life must be so strange. It seems such a small, specific world and the audience is mostly comprised of wealthy, older patrons. Here’s a review:
Thanks for tuning in! Happy Holidays!!