Songs of innocence and experience: Verdi’s Falstaff at Garsington

Bruno Ravella’s fast-paced direction for Garsington Opera honours Falstaff’s intense immediacy with a clear emphasis on dynamic physical and visual comedy underpinned by taut stagecraft, while still allowing time for its vital moments of pathos to breathe on stage in this subtle, elegant production. Henry Waddington’s dextrous characterisation means Falstaff’s connection to Rigoletto, another Verdi tortured clown, feels unmistakeable.…

A stern Father’s Day treat: Mozart Idomeneo at Garsington

Mozart’s Idomeneo, rè di Creta is a sprawling monster of an opera; messy in its misappropriations of classical myth, and chaotic in the pacing and development of its plot, it fills a long evening by being strangely voluminous in parts and curiously bare in others. Gone are the taut sexual dynamics of Le nozze di Figaro, or the…

Season preview for Culture Whisper: Garsington 2016

Summer garden opera simply doesn’t get more glamourous than Garsington. The stunning lakeside setting at Wormsley, the Getty family’s oil-painting-perfect English retreat, sets off any picnic to perfection; there’s even an army of Scouts to carry your basket for you (tips go towards their Scout Hut). The evening should impress on stage too: Garsington’s elegant…