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As a record of the 2011 Opernhaus Zürich production of Falstaff this Blu-ray recording does the job very well, but there is a Swiss efficiency about the performance that robs it of any great sense of charm, humour or personality. Sven- Eric Bechtolf ’s staging is prosaic and straightforward, its only interesting innovation being to freeze-frame some characters in order to allow others their moment of focus. It’s a shame, as Ambrogio Maestri as Falstaffis characterful, witty and engaging with a generous voice to match. Barbara Frittoli’s well-sung Alice Ford is often overly arch, and of the remaining singers I particularly liked Javier Camarena’s sweet-toned Fenton. The remaining cast is good, but it’s all solid rather than exciting. Daniele Gatti’s conducting is detailed, but even he seems more subdued than usual. Worthy not witty.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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