Peabody Opera Theatre presents


by Giuseppe Verdi

libretto by Arrigo Boïto, after Shakespeare

Peabody Symphony Orchestra

Hajime Teri Murai, conductor

Roger Brunyate, stage director

James M. Fouchard, set designer

Carol A. Bartlett, choreographer

JoAnn Kulesza, musical preparation

Thursday–Saturday, November 17, 18, 19, 2005 at 7:30 PM
Sunday, November 20, 2005 at 3:00 PM
Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall
Peabody Conservatory of Music
1 East Mt. Vernon Place
Baltimore, Maryland
Admission $24 / Seniors $12 / Students with ID $10
Box Office: 410/659-8100 x4415, or book online

A co-production with Temple University in Philadelphia.
Peabody’s costs in this production are funded in part
by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council

Photographs   Current season calendar   Peabody Opera home

“ . . . Conductor Hajime Teri Murai unleashed the score’s brilliant coloring and vitality Friday night, with the help of a very wired Peabody Symphony Orchestra.”

“ . . . Taleesha Janine Scott went well beyond as Nannetta, revealing a delicious shimmer to her voice and telling nuance in her phrasing.”

“ . . . Roger Brunyate directed the action through James M. Fouchard’s accommodating set with his usual fluency and flair.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Resurrection of Falstaff: Director Roger Brunyate defends his opinion that the Falstaff of Boïto and Verdi is not only a worthy successor to Shakespeare, but is in many respects an improvement upon The Merry Wives of Windsor, its original source.

Nonet (act I, scene ii)

Verdi’s last masterpiece, Falstaff, is the first of three productions during the current season at Peabody linked by two common themes: the madcap pursuit of love, and the transformative power of the pastoral. In Falstaff, the fat knight sets his sights on two married ladies; he gets his comeuppance in the course of a midnight masque in Windsor Forest, during which quarrels are forgiven, limitations accepted, and the young lovers Nannetta and Fenton are finally allowed to find one another. Similar ideas appear in Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, to be given in March 2006, and in the three works from the beginning of opera in the Pastorale & Masque program to be presented in February.

The ladies laugh over Falstaff's letters

Falstaff is one of those works whose style is unique and instantly recognizable. The delicacy of Verdi’s fairy music, the sense of magic which suffuses the entire last act, the lyricism of the young lovers, and even the unexpected grace of much of Falstaff’s own music, is of quite a different order. Even in the less lyrical sections, the overwhelming impression is one of lightness of action and nimbleness of wit. Through his music, Verdi has woven the disparate elements of the original play into a deft scherzo, seamless as a piece of gossamer. Despite its focus on the title character, the opera is an ensemble piece par excellence, ideally suited to the many young singers at Peabody, refining their craft as they take their first steps into the professional world.

The men close in on the hidden lovers

The production will be conducted by Hajime Teri Murai and staged by Roger Brunyate, the team responsible for the successful production of Puccini’s Trittico and Massenet’s Cendrillon in the last two years. The set designer is once more James M. Fouchard, whose ingenious two-level set for Falstaff has twice before been seen at Peabody, in 1986 and 1997; this time, the production is being built as a joint venture with Temple University in Philadelphia.


* Cast performing Thursday 17 and Saturday 19 November
** Cast performing Friday 18 and Sunday 20 November
Pausing the cursor over singers’ names will show some previous roles

Alice Ford ** Natalie Conte
* Toni Marie Palmertree
Nannetta * Sarah Davis
** Taleesha Scott
Meg Page * Elizabeth Healy
** Leah Serr
Mistress Quickly * Jenni Lynn Bank
** Jessica Medina
Fenton * Joseph Regan
** Lucas Tannous
Dr. Caius ** Matthew Heil
* Travis Wanner
Bardolfo * Seung Wook Ryu
** Hee Chang Shin
Ford ** Christopher Magiera
* Daniel Seigel
Falstaff ** Benjamin Park
* Nimrod Weisbrod
Pistola * Karl Hempel
** Hirotaka Kato