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Ida Aldrian

Verdi Falstaff

From 19 January TO 08 February 2020
Staatsoper - Hamburg
Program

Verdi : Falstaff

Cast
  • Conductor
    Axel Kober
  • Director
    Calixto Bieito
  • Performers
    Sir John Falstaff: Ambrogio Maestri
    Alice Ford: Maija Kovalevska
    Ford: Markus Brück
    Mrs Quickly: Nadezhda Karyazina
    Nannetta: Elbenita Kajtazi
    Fenton: Oleksiy Palchykov
    Meg Page: Ida Aldrian
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Staatsoper - Hamburg Location Grosse Theaterstrasse 25 - 20354 Hamburg Allemagne

The Venue's History in few words …

During their frequent journeys to Venice, the merchants of Hamburg had many a chance to note the success of Europe's first public opera, opened in 1637. In 1678, some of these rich bourgeois thus founded, on the Geese Market, a permanent opera. It was the first in Germany, a fact of which the Hamburgers were very proud. Driven by a strong sense of nationalism that preferred to blatently ignore French and Italian opera, as well as a shrewd business acumen, Hamburg's Opern-Theatrum specialized in defending the German lyrical repertoire, ins-pite of the clergy's prostests and heated debates that reached as far as the University of Iena. One could listen to the works of composers such as Telemann and Handel; the latter was hired as a violinist and harpsichord player by the Opera at the age of 18. A few years later, the same Handel became the talk of the town, when he fought a duel with Johann Mattheson, a rival composer. In 1738, the hall went bankrupt, ruined by the public's renewed interest in Italian opera. A new building was constructed in 1765, billing both theatre and lyrical works.

 

It was not before 1827 that the location of the actual Staatsoper became that of an opera house. At first, the German Weber, the Italian Rossini, and the Frenchman Auber shared the billing, before Wagner and Verdi (performed here as of 1845, for the first time in Germany) became the house's undisputed stars. Gustav Mahler was appointed at the Opera's head in 1891. Under his direction, the opera freshened up its rather conventional programming (and became equipped with electricity). Mahler hired the young Bruno Walter as coach, before another of his proteges, Otto Klemperer, took over the musical direction of the institution in 1910.

 

Greatly affected by the financial crisis that followed the First World War, and partially destroyed during the Second, the Opera opened in 1946 with difficulty, performing in front of 600 spectators seated around what remained of the stage. But the company, that included names such as Hans Hotter, Martha Modi, Hermann Prey, Elisabeth Grümmer, and Astrid Varnay, rapidely acquired an international reputation. Settled in the newly reconstructed opera house in 1955 and led by such brilliant managers as Rolf Liebermann (1959-1973, he returned in 1985), the Staatsoper became a Mecca of contemporary opera, welcoming composers such as Stravinsky, who came to conduct to celebrate his eightieth birthday, Penderecki, Messiaen, Kagel, Xenakis, and Helmut Lachenmann.

Staatsoper

The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.

Synopsis

Falstaff

THE INCREDIBLE OPERA OF FALSTAFF

Giuseppe Verdi's comedic operatic work is amongst one of the great composer's best loved works. Based in part around the Shakespeare plays of The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV, the opera is now recognised as something of a classic. After an initial reluctance from theatre goers to warm to the themes and melodies found within, the opera has received praise and respect since the 1930s onwards. The many studio recordings and live performances based around the world have brought it to the attention of opera lovers everywhere. 

HISTORY

Verdi's comedic opera is set in Windsor, England at the end of the 14th Century. It is largely concerned with the humorous consequences of the arrogance and bluster of the central character as he attempts to seduce two married ladies. The hilarious twists in the plot can act as a symbol for the ongoing confusion in human nature and the timeless class struggles and problems of identity that remain consistent and relevant today. 

Act 1 

The first act details Falstaff's attempts to woe the married Alice Ford and Meg Page with letters of love. He attempts to enlist the help of his friends Bardolfo and Pistola to deliver the letters. The men refuse, but the letters still manage to find their way to the ladies in question. The situational comedy of such action provides the ideal starting point for the opera. 

Act 2 

The misunderstandings and dramatic comedy are intensified in the second act as Alice Ford's husband becomes embroiled in the story. He hatches a plan with Bardolfo and Pistola to discredit their former friend by conspiring to make him look ridiculous in his pursuit of Alice. However, Ford is himself taken in by the emotional confusion of love and is soon sick with anger at Falstaff's desire for his wife. 

Act 3 

The culmination of the amusing cross purposes and miscommunication arrives once Ford realises his error in judgement in suspecting his wife of an affair. In working out the perfect punishment for the fat foolish knight, the crux of the opera is wonderfully delivered. Dealing with a light touch the essential motivations and romantic impulses of human relationships, Verdi is able to bring a timeless story of passion, crossed wires and tomfoolery to the world stage. Leaving the audience with a sense of happy goodwill in the face of the perplexities of life, the opera can be counted on to raise the spirits. 

MAIN ROLES

Sir John Falstaff, a fat arrogant knight, baritone
Ford, a rich man, baritone
Alice Ford, his wife, soprano
Nannetta, their daughter, soprano
Meg Page, a wealthy married woman, mezzo-soprano
Fenton, one of Nannetta's suitors, tenor

Staatsoper

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