Live Recording from The Glyndebourne Festival Opera, 1976
Donald Gramm (Sir John Falstaff), Benjamin Luxon (Ford), Kay Griffel (Mrs. Alice Ford), Max René Cosotti (Fenton), Elizabeth Gale (Nannetta), Reni Penkova (Mrs. Meg Page), Bernard Dickerson (Bardolfo), Ugo Trama (Pistola), John Fryatt (Dr. Cajus)
This legendary Glyndebourne-production by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle from 1976 stars the outstanding baritone Donald Gramm, who had few equals among bass-baritones and who perfectly embodies the likeable loser Falstaff. He is wonderfully supported by a cast of luminaries in the form of Benjamin Luxon, Elizabeth Gale and Kay Griffel. The London Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by John Pritchard.
Verdi’s final work is a tribute to one of Shakespeare’s comic characters, the roguish hero Falstaff. In order to avoid his bankruptcy, the old knight Falstaff courts Alice Ford and Meg Page, rich townsmen’s wives. The two amused ladies as well as Falstaff’s former old cronies (Pistola and Bardolfo) and Alice’s jealous husband resolve to play a joke on the complacent and clumsy drunkard. But in the end the mocked Falstaff turns the tables and exposes everything as a game. The moral of this opera: “Tutte nel mondo é burla... Ma ride ben chi ride la risata final” (The whole world is but a joke and he laughs best who laughs last).
Sound Format: PCM Stereo
Picture Format: 4:3
DVD Format: DVD 9 / NTSC
Subtitle Languages: IT (Original Language), GB, DE, FR, ES
Running Time: 118 mins
“None of the individual performances in this production is outstanding, but the team work is, and though the picture is a bit fuzzy, overall this is highly enjoyable.”
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