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City Focus


Salieri’s brilliant comic turn: Chritoph Pohl as Falstaff and Robert Gleadow as Bardolfo

The closing months of 2016 brought musical portraits of Sir John Falstaff from two composers in two opera houses in the same city: Shakespeare’s Fat Knight took to the stage in two very different Vienna productions. The first was a delightful evening of opera, full of surprises; then in an incarnation that shone musically but fell flat when it came to creativity and dramatic suspense. The first production at Theater an der Wien revived Salieri’s 1799 operatic setting; the second, at the Staatsopera, is the much more familiar work by Verdi. Two very different beasts, but they do bear comparison in terms of their level of creative imagination.

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About Opera Now

Baritone Thomas Hampson discusses his influential role as ambassador for opera and the art of singing; composer John Adams on turning 70 and his new opera about the California Gold Rush; Grange Park Opera gets ready for its relaunch at Britain's newest opera house; and the indomitable prowess of the great American soprano Leontyne Price. Plus, introducing a new opera inspired by Pink Floyd's The Wall; movement and pictures in the stagings of Japanese-born director Anna Etsuko Tsuri; the revelations of Dame Felicity Lott; American opera in the age of Trump; a weekend in Boston; and our pick of the best new works coming up stateside.
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