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“Raucous and tender beauty”: The best opera this month

Robert Carsen’s scintillating version of Falstaff is a riot of colour

By Neil Norman   July 2018

Photo: The Skating Rink


Royal Opera House, 7th to 21st July

Verdi’s final opera, which distils Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor and the Henry IV plays, is a thing of raucous and tender beauty. Premiered in Milan in 1893, it was immediately hailed as a masterpiece. Robert Carsen’s scintillating version, set in the 1950s, is a riot of colour. It takes a big man to inhabit the central role and they don’t get much bigger than Bryn Terfel—opera’s answer to Meatloaf—who has the voice and comedy…

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