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Royal Opera joins World Shakespeare Festival programme

Falstaff and Otello to feature as part of the 2012 World Shakespeare Festival.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Online Content)

22 December 2011 at 12.11pm | 2 Comments

Verdi’s Falstaff and Otello, both inspired by Shakespeare’s work, will feature as part of the 2012 World Shakespeare Festival.

Robert Carsen’s new production of Falstaff opens on 15 May 2012. The opera hasn’t been performed on the Royal Opera House stage for a decade and this much-anticipated new production sees the return of Daniele Gatti wielding the baton. The titular role is one of the great baritone parts in opera, to be sung in this production by Ambrogio Maestri, an artist acclaimed for his performances in Verdian roles. Falstaff features fast-paced wit complete with a healthy dose of slapstick and is a wonderful example of all the colour and character of opera at its most entertaining.

The performance on 30 May 2012 will be broadcast live around the UK to BP Big Screens and London 2012 live sites, giving thousands access to world-class opera for free.

Elijah Moshinsky’s Otello returns to the Royal Opera House on 12 July; a tragic battle between good and evil showcasing Verdi’s affinity for Shakespeare in all his dramatic variety. Aleksandrs Antonenko sings the role of Venetian general Otello, a man tricked into believing in the faithlessness of his pure wife Desdemona. Also featuring Anja Harteros as Desdemona and Lucio Gallo as Iago (acclaimed for his triumphant performance in Gianni Schicchi in 2011), the cast will be conducted by Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera.

Although not part of the World Shakespeare Festival, continuing the connection with the Bard, The Royal Ballet will perform the tragic Romeo and Juliet (10 January – 31 March as well as Frederick Ashton’s one-act rendering of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in The Dream (1 February – 5 March).

Do you have a favourite operatic or balletic take on Shakespeare? Will you be seeing Falstaff, Otello or The Dream?

By Chris Shipman (Head of Online Content)

22 December 2011 at 12.11pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged

This article has 2 comments

  1. Ann Lander responded on 28 December 2011 at 12:51pm Reply

    Well considering that earlier this year, I saw the Macbeth Insight, the Macbeth rehearsal, two performances of Macbeth, the live cinema relay of Macbeth & will get the DVD if/when it's released, I think I'd have to say my favourite is Macbeth! But I do love Falstaff as well & will be seeing it next May.

  2. Austin Pearce responded on 5 February 2012 at 3:56pm Reply

    Both Falstaff and Otello should be filmed this season. I would be very grateful.

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