From the Glyndebourne Festival Opera 1976
Commedia Lirica in Three Acts
Sung in Italian
Donald Gramm, Benjamin Luxon, Kay Griffel,
Elizabeth Gale, Nucci Condo
The London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Glyndebourne Chorus, John Pritchard
Producer and Designer: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle
Televison Director: Dave Heather
Sound Format: PCM Stereo
Picture Format: 4:3
Region Code: 0 worldwide
Menu Languages: D, F, GB, SP
Subtitle Languages: I, D, F, GB, SP
Running Time: 118 mins
DVD 9/ NTSC
Cat no.:101 083
"Verdi's comic creation is one of the most memorable comedies of all
time. Its farrago of farce, flirtation, and foibles rarely flags, producing
a work of lighthearted entertainment and deep-rooted humanism." www.classical.net
Verdi's final work is a tribute to one of Shakespeare's comic characters, the
roguish hero Falstaff.
In order to avoid his bankruptcy, the old knight Falstaff courts Alice Ford
and Meg Page, rich townsmen's wives. The two amused ladies as well as Falstaff's
former old cronies (Pistola and Bardolfo) and Alice's jealous husband resolve
to play a joke on the complacent and clumsy drunkard. But in the end the mocked
Falstaff turns the tables and exposes everything as a game. The moral of this
opera: "Tutto nel mondo é burla
Ma ride ben chi ride la risata
final." (The whole world is but a joke and he laughs best who laughs last.)
This lovely Glyndebourne production by Jean-Pierre Ponelle stars the "excellent"
(Gramophone) Donald Gramm, who perfectly embodies the likeable loser Falstaff,
supported by a cast of luminaries in the form of Benjamin Luxon, Elizabeth Gale
and Kay Griffel.
The late, great American baritone Gramm (1927-1983) had few equals among bass-baritones.
As a regular member of the Metropolitan Opera Company (debuting in 1964) his
roles ran the gamut from Monterverdi's The Coronation of Poppea through Handel's
Messiah and Berlioz's Romeo et Juiliette to Stravinsky's Le Rossignol and Carl
Orff's Der Mond.