Give Now

Shakespeare’s ‘Fat Jack’ Sings!

...a lecherous braggart, a boaster, a liar, a cheat, a coward and a bit on the heavy side...

trio from the finale

Photo: IU Opera Theater

Bradford Thompson as Dr. Caius and Scott Hogsed as Master Ford flank the wily Falstaff, Ray Fellman.

Event Information

Falstaff

opera by Verdi based on Shakespeare


I U Musical Arts Center

April 5, 6 and 12, 13, 2013

Falstaff Production Site

Indiana University Opera Theater’s season finale is a graceful, fast moving, funny and thoughtful production of Giuseppe Verdi’s final opera, Falstaff.  Shakespeare’s “fat Jack” sings.

It’s been a year of exciting and rewarding productions.  The Musical Arts Center’s stage has been peopled with lecherous dons, merry widows, put upon step children, lascivious kings, and monotheistic pharaohs. That’s quite a varied cast, but they all share a relatively narrow age range. Frankly, it’s a delight– with Falstaff– to finally have a hero who can draw Social Security.

Now as heroes go, Falstaff has his faults.  He’s a lecherous braggart, a boaster, a liar, a cheat, a coward and a bit on the heavy side. But, it’s Falstaff who animates, who enlivens, who brings spice and spirit to his world.  Saturday night’s Falstaff Ray Fellman brought it all in fine style. The athletically comic Max Zander and the bluff Jeremy Gussin were his minions Bardolf and Pistol.

Betty Allison and Margaret Potter were accomplished singer –actors as the ladies he sought to seduce, Alice Ford and Meg Page. Ford was just a bit the more flattered and Page a bit more amused by his attention. Eileen Jennings was Dame Quickly, the trio’s able assistant as they plotted to upend the scheming knight.

Bradford Thompson and Scott Hogsed were the stylish senior males as Falstaff’s dupe Dr. Caius  and the man he hopped to cuckold Master Ford.  Derek Stark and Siena Forest were the affecting young lovers Fenton and Nannetta.

Staging by guest Robin Guarino flowed nicely with good attention to characterization, the visual gags and neatly arranged mini tableau. The finale did get a bit crowded. The orchestra played beautifully with special attention to the low woodwinds that Verdi loved. There was a nice moment when guitarist Benjamin Wedeking doubled for the onstage Ford’s lute. Constantine Kitsopolous conducted.

George Walker

After completing an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University, George Walker began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists and reviews plays and operas.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search Arts and Music

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Recent Classical Music Stories

Classical Music Events RSS icon

More Events »Submit Your Event »

Arts & Music is on Twitter

Find Us on Facebook

This Week on Harmonia Early Music

Down On The Farm

chicken

We’re throwing open the barn doors with music inspired by sheep, cats, chickens—even the frogs down by the creek.

Read more »

Harmonia Early Music is a nationally syndicated weekly early music radio program, podcast and blog produced by WFIU Public Radio.

More from Harmonia »

This Week on Poets Weave

Photograph: Father And Grandfather Fishing The Pier…

fishing for perch

O'Neill reads "Anniversary Poem for Ann," "Tectonic of Love," "Photograph: Father and Grandfather Fishing the Pier at Michigan City, and "One Month After."

Read more »

The Poets Weave is a weekly five-minute program of poetry reading hosted by local poet Christopher Citro.

More from The Poets Weave »

This Week on Earth Eats

Christine Tailer’s DIY Country Life

erecting wind power tower

At Straight Creek Valley Farm, living "off-the-grid" doesn't mean doing without creature comforts like cell phones and Keurig coffee.

Read more »

Earth Eats is a podcast, radio program and blog of the freshest news and recipes inspired by local food and sustainable agriculture.

More from Earth Eats »

This Week on Focus on Flowers

My Dear Magnolia Virginiana

magnolia virginiana

Sweetbay Magnolia flowers have a citrusy fragrance that makes me want to sniff them whenever I am nearby.

Read more »

Focus on Flowers is a weekly program about flower gardening hosted by master gardener Moya Andews.

More from Focus on Flowers »