Promotional video for Portland Opera's production of "Falstaff" by Eric Nordstrom, Portland Performing Arts Video http://www.ppav.me.
Verdi wrote only two comedies and he wrote Falstaff when he was nearly 80 years old. The third of Verdi’s operas to be based on a Shakespearean play, it is an extremely spirited, sensual and youthful work. The music possesses immense charm and sparkle with wonderful individual arias throughout the opera. An impeccable, virtuosic ensemble opera, Falstaff teems with tricks, twists and trysts, culminating in an evening where the music, action and comic momentum never stop. Last performed in 1991, Falstaff makes a welcome return to Portland Opera.
“What better way to end the season than with Verdi’s last opera, Falstaff?” said Portland Opera General Director — andFalstaff stage director, Christopher Mattaliano. “Arguably the greatest operatic comedy ever written, Verdi is at the height of his powers, composing for the pure joy of it. He and his librettist Arrigo Boito have taken Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and distilled it to its essence, the irrepressible, elemental Falstaff himself.”
Falstaff is about the battle of the sexes, about honor and fidelity and most of all, about laughing at life. Set in Windsor, England during the reign of Henry IV. The story revolves around the grand, aging, vain, rotund knight — Sir John Falstaff — who is devoted to food, drink, women and a pleasurable philosophy of life. When he decides to write the same love letter to two married women (for his own pleasure and to gain access to their money!) it sets off a series of comic machinations involving tricks, disguises, and many sub plots. After much confusion, humiliation and threats of violence, all ends happily. Sung in Italian with projected English translations.
Most everyone in the cast of Falstaff will be familiar to Portland audiences. Returning in the title role is bass baritone EDUARDO CHAMA (Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, 2002, Leander in The Love for Three Oranges, 1998, Antonio in The Merchant of Venice, 1996). The Seattle Times called his Falstaff “an appealing portrayal.” Opera News said of his Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola that he was “. . . the genuine buffo article, delivering his music with great sound and comic brio.” Soprano PAMELA ARMSTRONG (Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, 2011, The Tales of Hoffmann, 2003) sings Alice Ford. The New York Times Anthony Tommasini described her performance in La Rondine for New York City Opera as “lovely, rich-voiced and bittersweet . . . with soaring high notes.”
A premiere of innovative compositions featuring the vision of Artistic Director, Michelle Fujii. Join us as we explore the possibilities of the art form of taiko through contemporary reflections on Japanese folk dance. This evocative program will push the performers into an exploration of drumming, dance, and voice seamlessly. This full length work explores life’s endless cycles that are never satisfied, unavoidable connections and interwoven relationships. Video and editing by Eric Nordstrom, http://www.ppav.me.
Video by Eric Nordstrom, Portland Performing Arts Video, http://www.ppav.me
A young apprentice's overzealous passion for his duty ends in an absurd meeting of pirates, policemen and of course, the girl he loves.
Our staging of this whimsical tale of comic adventure on the high seas is inspired by the hit production in Ashland and reimagined for the Keller stage. Bill Rauch (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Artistic Director) makes his Portland Opera directorial debut. Under Rauch's direction the production was praised by The Oregonian as "an effortlessly freewheeling romp."