Future opera singers are easily identified at birth due to their multi-octave crying and graceful bows as they emerge from the womb. Check out how far these toddling tenors have come with this GrouponLive deal.
- One ticket to see Falstaff, presented by Portland Opera
- When: May 12 or May 16
- Where: Keller Auditorium
- Door time: one hour before showtime
- Ticket values include all fees.
- Click here to view the seating chart.
- Click here to view all available options.
Marriage plots and get-rich-quick schemes tangle together like kudzu vines in Giuseppe Verdi’s last opera. With a massive belly matched only by his greed, the roguish knight Falstaff plans to woo two married women in hopes of leaching off their husbands’ fortunes. Unfortunately, Mistresses Alice Ford and Margaret Page are considerably cleverer than he. Using everything from filthy laundry to fairy costumes, the women make a fool of Falstaff over and over again, but the gold-digging gentleman will not be dissuaded. Meanwhile, Alice’s daughter Nannetta hopes to wed the handsome tenor Fenton instead of her father’s considerably older choice, and Mr. Ford himself stress-eats the scenery as he worries about his wife giving into Falstaff’s advances.
Based on Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV, Falstaff was only the second comedy Verdi ever wrote. The pompous, magisterial vocals juxtapose with the base motives to make for a thigh-slapping experience even more impressive for the composer’s advanced age at the time of writing. In the opening aria “L’onore! Ladri!,” Falstaff sounds as if he sings of lofty ideals and glorious battles, but English supertitles above the stage reveal his real message: “Can honor fill your belly? No!” Later, the plump paladin attempts to impress the Lady Ford in “Quand’ero pagio del Duca di Norfolk” by boasting of his slender physique back when he was a page for the Duke of Norfolk.
Portland Opera has always set its collective eyes on the horizon. Since filling the gaps left by touring troupes and sporadically performing local companies in 1964, it has endeavored to expand the art form on the stage and beyond. Twenty years after its inception, it became just the second company in the US to project English translations of foreign lyrics above the stage, enabling audiences to leave their Italian dictionaries at home. The company also pushes the boundaries of the shows themselves, staging world premiers of classic stories such as Wuthering Heights, commissioning the work Lucy's Lapses, and producing the West Coast premiere of Philip Glass's Orphée. Not to be contained within one performance space, it also established Portland Opera To Go, a touring division that performs works such as Cinderella and La Bohème at schools and community centers.