[Met Performance] CID:204310
Falstaff {90} Metropolitan Opera House: 10/29/1965.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
October 29, 1965


FALSTAFF {90}
Giuseppe Verdi--Arrigo Boito

Sir John Falstaff.......Geraint Evans
Alice Ford..............Mary Costa
Ford....................Frank Guarrera
Dame Quickly............Regina Resnik
Nannetta................Judith Raskin
Fenton..................George Shirley
Meg Page................Mildred Miller
Dr. Cajus...............Paul Franke
Bardolfo................Andrea Velis
Pistola.................Norman Scott
Mistress of the Inn.....Rae Calitri
Innkeeper...............Thomas Powell

Conductor...............Joseph Rosenstock

Production..............Franco Zeffirelli
Stage Director..........Bodo Igesz
Designer................Franco Zeffirelli
Choreographer...........William Burdick

Falstaff received eight performances this season.

Review of Miles Kastendieck in the Journal American

Evans, Resnik Excel in Opera

Welcomed back for another season, the Zeffirelli production of Verdi's "Falstaff" brought a great deal of pleasure musically and dramatically at the Metropolitan last night. It qualifies as one of its finest offerings.

With Geraint Evans in the title role and Regina Resnik as Dame Quickly the dramatic values so important in this work had meaning. Such character portrayal by each one and such interplay between them conveys vividly the meaning of opera as theatre, something about which Verdi had become keenly aware in this final opera.

Mr. Evans gave his masterful delineation in voice and manner of the old knight with his vestige of knightly dignity yet full share of rascality, his gaiety, and his poignancy. Miss Resnik delighted the audience with her inimitable characterization. With those two playing, a performance is made.

New in the role of Mrs. Ford was Mary Costa, lovely to hear and lovely to behold. Because her voice is light and not always well focused, her performance fell short of distinction. She acted well, but because of her stage movement it was often hard to hear her. Mildred Miller as Mrs, Page fared much better. Judith Raskin's Nanetta remains one of her most fetching performances in every way.

The men were consistently good: Frank Guarrera as Ford, George Shirley as Fenton, Andrea Velis and Norman Scott as Bardolfo and Pistola respectively, and Paul Franke as Dr. Caius.

Some changes in the stage direction have made the shenanigans more boisterous, not necessarily heightening the quality of the farce, but only making it more obvious.
Joseph Rosenstock conducted his thoroughly dependable, quite musicianly reading of the wonderful score. He does not impart the buoyancy lurking in it, which makes "Falstaff" the singular opera it is. And some of the subtlety is gone.

Discovering "Falstaff" remains one of the most fascinating experiences in opera, for it takes time to get thoroughly acquainted with the genius of its creation.



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