A colorful “Falstaff” presented at the opening of the Aix-en-Provence festival

At 80, Verdi signed with “Falstaff “ his first Comic Opera. A joyful farce, the result of a collaboration between the Aix-en-Provence festival and the Opéra National de Lyon. A production to discover until July 13 in Aix-en-Provence then this fall in Lyon.

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“Everything in this world is a joke. Man was born a jester.” This famous sentence taken from Falstaff by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) sums up this opera-bouffe written by the composer in 1893. His last work, his first of the comic genre, plunges the spectator into the society of the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. A joyful work, a farce which marks the beginning of an ambitious edition of the lyric art festival in Aix-en-Provence. No less than eight operas are scheduled until July 30.

Falstaff at the Aix-en-Provence festival

The Aix-en-Provence festival teams are keen to offer a show that meets the challenges this year, after a 2020 edition canceled due to a health crisis. But that’s it, the curtain has finally risen, with a program full of promises and several productions to discover including the energetic Falsaff, directed by the Australian Barrie Kosky for his first participation in the festival. The choir and orchestra of the Opéra de Lyon are conducted by the Italian conductor Daniele Rustioni.

The soloists of this comic opera, whose libretto is inspired by several works by Shakespeare, do not shy away from their pleasure. An enjoyable deliverance after so many months away from the public. This spiritual testament by Giuseppe Verdi who makes fun of himself is good for artists. “It’s a kind of snub to his own career (…), it’s a big joke of incredible freshness, we don’t have the impression that he’s an old man from 80 years who wrote that “, explains baritone Stéphane Degout. “Us artists, it puts us in front of a kind of emptiness of things. We take ourselves too seriously sometimes”.

Falstaffis the story of a mature man who tries to seduce several women because he wants to prove to himself that he still pleases. He finds himself caught in his own traps. A delightful story for mezzo-soprano Antoinette Dennefeld, who plays one of her contenders: “The fact that he is desperately trying to be loved, it moves us, it touches something deep. And then, he has typically human character traits like gluttony, the desire to seduce, the love of good things, which are very exacerbated in his character. That’s why we like it! “

Falsatff by Giuseppe Verdi, July 3, 6, 8, 10 and 13 at the Théâtre de l’Archevéché in Aix-en-Provence. And from October 9 to 23 at the Opéra de Lyon

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