McGill University. (Opera in Review).
Falstaff was a surprising choice for a concert presentation in November by McGill University's orchestra and opera department. How could Verdi's valedictory belly-laugh sustain itself without the full-dress slapstick slapstick
Comedy characterized by broad humour, absurd situations, and vigorous, often violent action. It took its name from a paddlelike device, probably introduced by 16th-century commedia dell'arte troupes, that produced a resounding whack when one comic actor used it to that the whole world equates with Shakespeare's Sir John? The answer turned out to be splendidly -- perhaps because for once, we were not distracted by physical comedy but encouraged to savor the subtle ironies and brilliant colors of the score.
Some action was realized (by Guillermo Silva-Marin). A raised eyebrow can go a long way under bright lights. Even the climactic cli·mac·tic also cli·mac·ti·cal
Relating to or constituting a climax.
Adj. 1. dumping of Falstaff in the Thames was managed with panache just in front of the stage apron. Still, the core of the success was musical. The school hired a pro for the title role, Frederick Burchinal, a ringing baritone baritone or barytone (both: băr`ĭtōn), male voice, in a lighter and higher range than a bass but lower than a tenor. of strong presence and prismatic pris·mat·ic also pris·mat·i·cal
1. Of, relating to, resembling, or being a prism.
2. Formed by refraction of light through a prism. Used of a spectrum of light.
3. Brilliantly colored; iridescent. color who was never swamped by the orchestra. Dressed (like everyone) in formal attire, he was a relatively classy Falstaff, and clearly an inspiration to the student singers around him. Some of these--notably baritone Jonathan Carle as Ford--sounded ready for prime time.
Another plus was the pure tenor of Dimitri Pittas, our Fenton for the evening. Among the women, mezzo-soprano mezzo-soprano: see soprano. Genevieve Couillard (Mistress Quickly Mistress Quickly refers to either of two characters in plays by William Shakespeare:
Falstaff is very much a conductor's opera, and Alexis Hauser--an Austrian starting this year as music director of the McGill Symphony Orchestra--demonstrated both a love for and understanding of the score. Detail was never subsumed by the boisterousness of the subject, and softer moments projected the same vital humor at a gentler level. The school will move on to a full staging of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress in the Spring.