2-17 Dec 2006. Conducted by Jeffrey Tate, directed by Arnaud Bernard, with Ambrogio Maestri and Bernadette Manca di Nissa.
The Teatro S. Carlo in Naples begins its 2006-2007 opera season with Falstaff by Giuseppe Verdi (2-17 Dec). Among the productions musical credentials are the great conductor Jeffrey Tate, emerging singers such as Dmitry Korchak, experienced singers such as Svetla Vassileva and Vladimir Stoyanov, and renowned Verdi experts Ambrogio Maestri and Bernadette Manca di Nissa who have sung the opera many times with celebrated conductors such as Riccardo Muti. Using singers of a high professional standard guarantees results and quells the uncertainties of departing somewhat from the well-trodden path of tradition. However, one needs to hunt for innovation and originality in the work of French director Arnaud Bernard, who last year put on Verdis Luisa Miller in Venice and Puccinis La Bohme at the Arena in Verona. They are pared-down productions with few theatrical elements and with the main emphasis on the recital, transporting events to modern times and interpreting them as encounters between social classes, as in the work of Verdi, or pinning them to abstraction or symbolism, as in Puccinis masterpiece, where the death of Mimi is seen as the end of youth and innocence. Paolo Di Nicola.