Falstaff

Giuseppe Verdi

Jan 20 & 22, 2023

Verdi’s final masterpiece, Falstaff is more than just the composer’s successful "comic" opera, but it is also a profound meditation on humanity from an artist reflecting back on his life and career. Shakespeare’s iconic characters come to vivid life as Verdi’s sublime music reminds us that “tutto nel mondo è burla” — all the world’s a joke!

Sung in Italian, with projected English supertitles

Running time 2 hours 20 minutes, with one 20-minute intermission

The Music Center at Strathmore

Jan 20, 2023

Friday,
7:30 PM

The Music Center at Strathmore

Tickets on sale soon!
Tickets start at $60. With Student ID, $10.

Jan 22, 2023

Sunday,
2:00 PM

The Music Center at Strathmore

Tickets on sale soon!
Tickets start at $60. With Student ID, $10.

Meet the Artists

Mark Delavan

Mark Delavan

Bass-baritone

Learn More

Mark Delavan, a singer of “incisive vocal power and fierce theatrical acuity,” is sought after throughout the United States and Europe for the most demanding roles in his operatic repertoire. He regularly appears in the title roles of Der fliegende Holländer, Falstaff, and Rigoletto, and as Iago in Otello, Scarpia in Tosca, Jochanaan in Salome, and Amonasro in Aida.  In addition, as a strong character actor on stages throughout the country, he has proved himself a crossover artist of immense skill. Most recently, Delavan starred as Phil Arkin in Milk and Honey with York Theatre Company, to critical acclaim. Of his performance, critics hailed his “rich, resonant voice,” with “impressively clear high notes.”

This season, Mr. Delavan performs the role of Michele/Alfio in Tabbaro/Cavalleria Rusticana with Maryland Lyric Opera, Amfortas in Parsifal with Indiana University Opera Theater, Jocanaan in Salome with the Dallas Symphony, Tonio in I Pagliacci with Michigan Opera Theater, and joins The Metropolitan Opera for their production of Tosca. Last season, Delavan returned to The Metropolitan Opera for their productions of La Fanciulla del West, Aida and Falstaff, performed in a concert performance of La Fanciulla del Westas Jack Rance in the Inaugural Season of Maryland Lyric Opera and reprised the title role of Falstaff with Dallas Opera.  He will return to Dallas Opera in 2020.

At the Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Delavan took his interpretation of Wotan in cycles of Der Ring des Nibelungen under Fabio Luisi to critical acclaim.  He has also performed at the esteemed house, the title roles of Simon Boccanegra and Nabucco, and has appeared as Scarpia in Tosca, Amonasro in Aida, Tomsky in Pique Dame, Alfio in Cavalleria rusticana, Carlo in La forza del destino, Gianciotto in Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini, and as Gerard in a major revival of Andrea Chénier.

Internationally, Delavan has worked most frequently with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, in performances of Wotan in Der Ring des Nibelungen, as well as in stand-alone performances of Das Rheingold and Die Walküre led by Donald Runnicles, as Scarpia in Tosca, Jupiter in Die Liebe der Danae, Alfio/Tonio in the double-bill of Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci, and Iago in Otello.  He débuted as Jochanaan in Salome at Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova under Fabio Luisi and went on to perform the role in productions with Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu and in concert with the Prague State Opera.  He also has sung Jack Rance in La fanciulla del West for Den Jyske Opera and Scarpia in Tosca with the Canadian Opera Company.

With the San Francisco Opera he created the role of Giovanni in the world première of Marco Tutino’s Two Women (La Ciociara) and has appeared there as Scarpia in Tosca and Wotan in Die Walküre.  With the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Delavan was most praised for his creation of the role of Snooks Brenner in the world première of William Bolcom’s A Wedding, directed by Robert Altman and conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.  He has also appeared with the company as Amfortas in Parsifal, Alfio/Tonio in Cavalleria rusticana/I pagliacci, Scarpia in Tosca, Germont in La Traviata, Renato in Un ballo in Maschera, Robert Carsens staging of Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride (Louis Langrèe conducting) and David McVicar’s production of Verdi’s Il trovatore (Bruno Bartoletti conducting).

Notable engagements in the US also include, Don Carlo in La forza del destino at Washington National Opera, the title role of Der fliegende Holländer with Arizona Opera, the Four Villains in Les contes d’Hoffmann at Palm Beach Opera, Jack Rance in La faniculla del West for Michigan Opera Theatre, Iago in Otello for Opera Philadelphia, and the title roles in Rigoletto, Nabucco and Falstaff, as well as Scarpia in Tosca for Pittsburgh Opera. He has made several appearances with Santa Fe Opera including Mandryka in a new production of Arabella and Jack Rance in La faniculla del West, performed Amonasro in Aida for Atlanta Opera and at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under James Conlon, and performed Kurt Weill’s The Road of Promise with the Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall and with the New York Choral Society in Mendelssohn’s St. Paul.

A popular performer with the former New York City Opera, Mr. Delavan has sung in numerous productions with the company, including the title roles in Der fliegende Holländer, Rigoletto, Macbeth, and Falstaff, as well as starring in the title role of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd to great critical acclaim. Mr. Delavan’s NYCO credits also include the roles of the four villains in Les contes d’Hoffman, Scarpia (telecast live on PBS for ‘Live From Lincoln Center’), Ezio in Attila, Escamillo in Carmen, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, the Duke of Nottingham in Roberto Devereux and in new productions of The Ballad of Baby Doe as Horace Tabor, Il trittico as Michele and Gianni Schicchi, and Salome.

Born in Princeton, New Jersey, Mr. Delavan earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Oral Roberts University. He was a national finalist of the Metropolitan Opera auditions and an Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera.

Brian Major

Brian Major

Baritone

Learn More

Charismatic baritone Brian Major continues to be praised by critics for his “velvety voice” and “commanding stage presence.”

During the 2021-2022 season, Mr. Major made his role debut as Scarpia in Tosca with Opera Columbus, sang the role of Taylor in the world premiere of Undying Love at Hearing in Color in Chicago, was set to perform as the bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah with Grand Bend Center for Music (COVID19), returned to Sarasota Opera as Ezio in Atilla and made his Boston Lyric Opera debut as Emile Griffith in Champion. He also returned to the Columbus Symphony to sing Schaunard in La bohème, joined Opera Carolina as Amonasro in Aida, made a debut with the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra singing the title role of Don Giovanni, sang in a concert of operatic excerpts with the Elkhart Country Symphony and performed at Carnegie Hall as a soloist in Mozart’s Mass in C, K. 220 and Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music with MidAmerica Productions. In the summer of 2022, he joined Cincinnati Opera as the cover of Castor in the world premiere of Gregory Spears and Tracy K. Smith’s Castor and Patience. In 2022-2023, Mr. Major will make his role debut as Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff with Maryland Lyric Opera and will join the roster of The Metropolitan Opera where he will make his house debut as Baron Douphol in La traviata and cover Benny “Kid” Paret in Champion.

During the 2020-2021 season, Mr. Major was engaged to make his Chautauqua Orchestra debut singing in Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell’s Sanctuary Road and performing selections from Porgy & Bess, his Opera on the James debut as Scarpia in Tosca, and a debut with Maryland Lyric Opera as Ford in Falstaff (COVID19). In the spring of 2021, Mr. Major returned to Opera Grand Rapids as Gary in Douglas Pew’s Penny and joined Lyric Fest for a filmed recital of Kurt Weill songs, the Princeton Festival for an Opera Gala, and Opera Delaware for a concert of Shakespeare selections.

In the fall of 2019, Mr. Major joined Madison Opera for their production of Tosca, and a debut with Maryland Lyric Opera as Ford in Falstaff (COVID19). In the spring of 2021, Mr. Major returned to Opera Grand Rapids as Gary in Douglas Pew’s Penny and La traviata as Baron Douphol and covered the role of Germont. In 2020, Mr. Major returned to Toledo Opera as Marcello in La bohème, made his South American debut as Amonasro in Aida with Theatro Municipal de São Paulo, and was slated to make his Princeton Festival debut as Germont in La traviata (COVID19).

During the 2018-2019 season, Mr. Major made debuts with Toledo Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, and Opera Carolina in their productions of The Magic Flute and Carmen where he sang the roles of The Speaker and El Dancaïro. Other season highlights include his turn in the title role of Gianni Schicchi, a recital for the Shivers Concert Series in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with The Colorado College Summer Music Festival. Mr. Major was also a featured musical guest at An Evening of Joyful Praise at the historic Great Auditorium in New Jersey and closed out his season as the baritone soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

Past season credits include his debut with Opera Columbus and Columbus Symphony Orchestra in a collaborative production of Aida as Amonasro. Mr. Major also presented Kirke Mechem’s Songs of the Slave in Boston Symphony Hall and reprised the role of Amonasro in a debut with Opera Theatre of the Rockies in their twentieth-year celebration where Mr. Major’s voice was described as “honey-filled and capable of organic, dramatic expression.” Quickly gaining renowned acclaim for his proficiency in the iconic dramatic repertoire, Opera News praised Mr. Major’s Escamillo as “embracing the love of the spotlight” and “never losing the strength of the vocal line.” Mr. Major has performed with Opera Saratoga as Giorgio in Catan’s Il Postino, with Opera in the Heights where he gave a “sexy and despicable, full-bodied and broad” performance of the title role in Don Giovanni, with Opera Company of Middlebury where he sang the role of Germont in La Traviata, and in Montpellier, France where he performed an all-French Opera concert with Maestro Michel Plasson. Other operatic credits include Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, 1st Nazarene in Salome, and George Milton in Of Mice and Men.

An accomplished recitalist and concert artists, Mr. Major has been the baritone soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. These works were performed with The Siena Chamber Orchestra in Italy, Sun Valley Opera in Idaho, Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, and the Michigan State University Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Major has won numerous awards and honors on the competition circuit including 2nd Prize at the Harold Haugh Opera Vocal Competition, 1st prize at the Opera Ebony Vocal Competition, 3rd prize at the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition, 2nd prize at the Opera at San Nicola Vocal Competition, 1st prize at Harlem Opera Theater’s Vocal Competition, 1st prize at the Atlanta Music Club Vocal Competition, and an Encouragement Prize at the Palm Beach Atlantic Vocal Competition. Mr. Major holds degrees from Morehouse College, Boston University, and Michigan State University.

Mary Feminear

Mary Feminear

Soprano

learn more

American soprano Mary Feminear’s voice has been described as “luminous…full of longing and sensual promise” by the critic of the Wall Street Journal, and by the critic of the New York Times as showing “versatility [as Magdalene] in her sorrowing and then in her transcendent joy.” Among her 2019-20 engagements are the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Maryland Lyric Opera, and Pallade, Damigella, and Venere in L’incoronazione di Poppea with Opera Delaware. In the summer of 2020, Ms. Feminear is soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C Major in her debut with the Grant Park Music Festival. Her engagements in the 2020-21 season include a return to Opera Omaha as the Countess.

Ms. Feminear’s engagements in the 2018-19 season included a return to Grand Théâtre de Genève as Micaëla in Carmen, and concerts with Maryland Lyric Opera, where she appeared as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. Engagements for the 2017-18 season included Zerlina in Don Giovanni at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Ginevra in Handel’s Ariodanteand soloist in Mariana Sadovska’s The Wreck at the Opera Omaha One Festival, and Amore in Cavalli’s Il Giasone at the Château de Versailles.

As a member of the Troupe des Jeunes Solistes at Grand Théâtre de Genève, she performed a number of roles, including Musetta in La bohème, Amore in Il Giasone, Mimì in Scènes de la vie de Bohème, Nanetta in Verdi’s Falstaff, and Helena in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ms. Feminear’s other opera credits include the title role in Handel’s Semele at Opera Omaha and Seattle Opera, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Pacific MusicWorks, Proserpine in Charpentier’s La descente d'Orphée aux enfers with Gotham Chamber Opera, and Polissena in Handel’s Radamistoat Juilliard.

She has also appeared in concert, with performances of Monteverdi’s Orfeo with Pacific MusicWorks, Tchaikovsky’s Orleanskaya Deva with Grand Théâtre de Genève, Handel’s La resurrezione with William Christie and Juilliard415, and the St. Matthew Passion with Juilliard415 at Alice Tully Hall.

Ms. Feminear is a recipient of the Novick Career Advancement Prize, the Makiko Narumi Memorial Prize, and the Hardesty and Beverley Peck Johnson Award. She holds an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Juilliard School and a Master of Arts degree from Teacher’s College at Columbia University.

Allegra De Vita

Allegra De Vita

Mezzo-soprano

learn more

Allegra was recently seen as Angelina in La Cenerentola at Boston Midsummer Opera, The Page in Salome at The Spoleto Festival, Siebel in Faust at Washington National Opera and the title role in Carmen in a semi-staged production with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Future engagements include Maddalena in Rigoletto with Austin Opera, Rinaldo in Rinadlo at the Glimmerglass Festival. As a 2018 graduate from the Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program she was seen as Rosina in The Barber of Seville (Emerging Artist Performance), Tebaldo in Don Carlo, Sister 2 in Provin’ Up, The Fox/A Rose in The Little Prince, Ruggiero in Alcina (Emerging Artist Performance), the title role in The Dictator’s Wife, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro (Emerging Artist Performance) and Kate Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly. She was also seen as Tancredi in Erminia with Opera Lafayette, Arsamenes in Xerxes at the 2017 Glimmerglass Festival as well as the roles of Olga in Eugene Onegin with Syracuse Opera and Isaura inTancredi with Opera Philadelphia. Allegra was a 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Grand Finalist.

Patricia Schuman

Patricia Schuman

Mezzo-Soprano

Learn More

Miss Schuman began her career as a mezzo-soprano singing Rossini and Mozart roles, as well as her signature role at that time, Carmen. Engaged by Peter Brook to perform the title role in his production of La Tragedie de Carmen, Miss Schuman sang in Paris, on a world tour, and at the Lincoln Center Theater. After switching to soprano, Schuman enjoying a career at the highest international level, specializing in the Mozartean repertoire, singing Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Contessa Almaviva in Le nozzle di Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera with James Levine conducting; Ilia in Idomeneo at La Scala with Riccardo Muti; and Ilia and Pamina at Vienna State Opera, under the baton of Nikolaus Harnencourt. She made her debut at the Salzburg Festival as Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito, to great critical and popular acclaim. She repeated the role at Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, Madrid, and Lyon.

In a continually expanding repertoire, Mis Schuman debuted the role of Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff at the Covent Garden with Bernard Haitink conducting; Rezia in Weber’s Oberon with Marc Minkowski at the Flemish Opera; the title role in Schumann’s Genoveva with the Edinburgh Festival and Opera North; Blanche in Poulenc’s Les Dialogues des Carmelites with Rome Opera and Seattle Opera; Madeleine in Strauss’ Capriccio in Toulouse and the Marshallin in Der Rosenkavalier at Pittsburgh Opera. She has sung the Puccini roles Liu in Turandot and Mimi in La Boheme in Zurich; Poppea in Cologne and Bologna; and the role of The Commander in the world premiere of Philip Glass’ The Voyage at the Metropolitan Opera.

After the birth of twins, Miss Schuman made the decision to stay home and raise her children, once they began school. After almost a decade, Schuman returned to the opera, once again as a mezzo, to sing opposite her husband, David Pittsinger, as Carlotta and Eugene O’Neill in the world premiere Blizzard on Marblehead Neck by Jeanine Tesori at the Glimmerglass Festival. Also, in that season, she appeared as Estelle Oglethorpe in John Musto’s Later the same evening. She returned to Glimmerglass to sing Elvira Griffiths in Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy. Soon thereafter, Miss Schuman made her role debut as The Duchess of Argyll in Thomas Ades’ Powder her Face with Opera Philadelphia, to great acclaim. Returning there in 2016, she sang the role of The Mother in Missy Mazzoli’s world premiere opera, Breaking the Waves.

At the Ivoryton Playhouse, Schuman made her first professional foray into musical theater, as Bloody Mary in South Pacific, for which she received a Critic’s Circle nomination. She also sang the world premiere oratorio Letter from Italy by composer Sarah Meneely-Kyder, singing the role of Delia.

Recently, Miss Schuman sang and recorded the role of Grandma Mills in Ricky Ian Gordon’s world premiere The House without a Christmas Tree at Houston Grand Opera before returning to the Ivoryton Playhouse for The Fantasticks. Schuman returned to Opera Theater of St. Louis, after many years, to debut the role of Arnalta in The Coronation of Poppea. The same season, she sang The Countess in a newly realized version of Pique Dame at the Glimmerglass Festival.

On recording, Miss Schuman can be heard in the title role of Florencia en el Amazonas by Daniel Catan, which she recorded live at Houston Grand Opera (Albany records). She has also recorded the soprano solo in Handel’s Messiah (Koch) and the Bertoni mass, Veni Creator (Erato) under the baton of Claudio Scimone, and the role, Ruggiero, in Rossini’s Tancredi with Marilyn Horne (Sony). She can be seen on video as Poppea (Schwetzingen Fetstival), Donna Elvira (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden), Countess Almaviva (Madrid Opera), and in Letter from Italy. Recently released is Ricky Gordon’s House without a Christmas Tree on Pentatone.

Mauricio Miranda

Mauricio Miranda

Tenor

Learn More

Tenor Mauricio Miranda has recently performed with MDLO as The Emperor Altoum in Turandot by Puccini, as Il Conte di Lerma in Don Carlo by Verdi, as Don Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro by Mozart, and as Joe in La fanciulla del West by Puccini. His future roles with MDLO include The Judge in Un ballo in maschera and Doctor Caius in Falstaff by Verdi.

During his career, Miranda has performed at the Kennedy Center, Strathmore Music Center, Palacio Euskalduna and Teatro La Laboral (Spain); Teatro Goldoni (Italy), Teatro Municipal de Santiago (Chile), among others. His oratorio repertoire includes works by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Mozart, Rossini, Beethoven and Schubert, and he has given concerts in Chile, Argentina, Peru, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and the United States. He performed with conductors such as Louis Salemno, Dimitry Jurowsky, Jan Latham-Koenig, Roberto Rizzi-Brignoli, and Daniele Rustioni; and directors such as Emilio Sagi, Anne Bogart, Hugo de Ana and Jean Louis Grinda. Miranda has sung Mozart's Requiem at the Washington National Cathedral, and the role of Eros in the U.S. premiere of Debussy's opera Diane au bois. His soloist career began in South America, and he continued his training in Europe and North America with Bruno Pola in Germany, Isabel Penagos in Spain and Diana Soviero in the U.S.

He graduated from the Cafritz Young Artist Program at the Washington National Opera. Miranda received his degree in Music Theory from the National Conservatory of the University of Chile and was the winner of the prestigious FONDART scholarship.

Joseph Michael Brent

Joseph Michael Brent

learn more

Tenor Joseph Michael Brent, a native New Yorker, began his operatic career as a doctoral student at the University of Georgia, Athens. Since graduating in the fall of 2014, Dr. Brent’s lyric tenor voice has continued to gain recognition around the United States and abroad. Most recently, he became the inaugural tenor resident artist of the Michigan Opera Theatre Studio, under the artistic direction of internationally acclaimed tenor Richard Leech and opera impresario Dr. David Dichiera. He completed two seasons as resident artist, ending his tenure at the Michigan Opera Theatre in the spring of 2017.

As a member of the Michigan Opera Theatre Studio Dr. Brent’s roles included Theodore “Laurie” Lawrence (Little Women), Martin (The Tender Land), the Kronprinz (Silent Night), Malcolm (Macbeth), Trin (La Fanciulla del West), and Remendado (Carmen).

Andrea Silvestrelli

Andrea Silvestrelli

Bass

Learn More

Andrea Silvestrelli is one of the most sought-after ‘bassi profondi’ on the international opera scene. Garnering critical acclaim for his debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in Rigoletto, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, “There were wild cheers for Andrea Silvestrelli …who brought a terrifying, sepulchral tone to the assassin Sparafucile.” The Chicago Sun concurred, “Andrea Silvestrelli wielded a big, black, menacing bass in his debut as the assassin Sparafucile.”

The current season opens with performances l'Orco in Il Piccolo Marat from Mascagni, with Hagen in Götterdämmerung in a return to the Taichung National Theater in Taiwan, followed by performances of the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlo with the Dallas Opera and Sparafucile in Rigoletto with Opera San Antonio. Last season, he was Fafner in Siegfried in Taiwan, and Geronte in Manon Lescaut and Pistola in Falstaff with the Dallas Opera. In the 2017-2018 season, Mr. Silvestrelli was heard as Hunding in Die Walküre in Taiwan, returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Nourabad in Les pêcheurs de perles and Timur in Turandot, and sang the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlo with Washington National Opera. In spring 2018, he performed in San Francisco Opera’s Ring Cycle as Fasolt in Das Rheingold and Hagen in Götterdämmerung.

Mr. Silvestrelli’s performances in the 2016-2017 season included Fafner in Das Rheingold with National Taichung Theater, Oroveso in Norma with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Hagen in Götterdämmerung with Houston Grand Opera, and the Commendatore in Don Giovanni and Sparafucile in Rigoletto, both with San Francisco Opera. With SFO in 2015-2016, he sang the role of Wurm in Luisa Miller, The Night Watchman in Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg, Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlo. He also returned to Erl, Austria for performances of the Ring Cycle at the Tiroler Festspiele.

David Gately

David Gately

Visual Supervisor

Learn More

Stage director David Gately is known for his vivid story-telling and lively and clever productions. Recent reviews have called his staging “fresh, amusing and energetic,” and praised his direction which used “nuance and creative physical comedy, resulting in a superb production brimming with energy.”

The Director’s hugely successful “Wild West” production of Don Pasquale which was hailed as a “contemporary classic” by the Denver Post has been mounted by San Diego Opera, Kentucky Opera, Opera Colorado, Calgary Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Virginia Opera, Dayton Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Opera Omaha, Edmonton Opera and the Fort Worth Opera. In addition to these performances, the last several seasons are highlighted by productions of La Traviata with The Academy of Vocal Arts and Atlanta Opera, Cosi Fan Tutte, Giulio Cesare and Ariadne auf Naxos with Fort Worth Opera, L’Italiana in Algeri with Seagle Music Colony, and Massenet’s Le Portrait de Manon with Boston University’s Fringe Festival.

Career milestones include his staging of L’Elisir d’Amore with Dallas Opera and Atlanta Opera, Madama Butterfly with Seattle Opera, La Boheme with Florida Grand Opera, Carmen in New Orleans, Les Contes D’Hoffman in Edmonton and Tulsa, Die Zauberflote with the Cincinnati and Vancouver Operas, A Midsummer Night’s Dream with both the Florentine Opera and Glimmerglass Opera, Falstaff with Opera Omaha, and Rigoletto with Utah Opera and Arizona Opera. He has directed productions of Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Washington National Opera, Opera Colorado and Manitoba Opera, Simon Boccanegra for its premiere with L’Opera de Montreal, and the World Premiere production of Before Night Falls with the Forth Worth Opera where the Dallas Morning News wrote that he “supplies a physically gripping staging.” In addition, he directed Angels in America with Fort Worth Opera for its North American Premiere, as well as its UK premiere with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre in London.

Stuart Duke

Stuart Duke

Lighting Designer

Learn More

Stuart Duke, Lighting Designer, is delighted to return to MDLO for the 2022-2023 Season. Having lit productions of Puccini's Turandot and Verdi's Don Carlo in the Spring 2022 Season, he has become a regular fixture at Maryland Lyric Opera. Recent designs include The Merry Widow and Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Palm Beach Opera, Fun Home at Weston Playhouse, and Matilda at Walnut Street Theatre.

His regional opera credits include Indianapolis Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia and Opera Memphis. He designed lighting for Kathleen Battle and Grover Washington Jr. in concert at Carnegie Hall and for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Yuletide Celebration. In New York, Stuart has designed lighting for Orwell in America, The Rothschilds, Cast of Characters, Home Games, The Matchmaker, Frankie (directed by George Abbott) and jon & jen.

His regional credits include the world premiere of The Night Seasons, written and directed by Horton Foote,, a revival of Rags for the Paper Mill Playhouse, and Christopher Lloyd in Death of a Salesman. Stuart has been nominated three times for the Helen Hayes Award for his work at D.C.'s Studio Theatre and Folger Shakespeare Theatre.

Sarah Tundermann

Sarah Tundermann

Projection Designer

Learn More

Sarah is delighted to make her projection design debut with MDLO. Previous MDLO credits include Turandot as assistant lighting designer. Recent designs include America's Requiem: A Knee on The Neck (World Premiere, Lighting Design, National Philharmonic); Fidelio (Lighting and Projection Design, Houston Symphony Orchestra); Die Fledermaus (Lighting Design, Stanford LIVE).

Sarah also served as the Assistant Lighting Designer for the San Francisco Opera for the 2014 - 2016 Spring and Fall seasons including productions of Two Woman (World Premiere), Sweeney Todd, La Boheme, Norma, Madame Butterfly, and Showboat. Recent regional projection design credits for theatre include Tomas and the Library Lady, And in this Corner: Cassius Clay, School House Rock Live, and Snowy Day (Children's Theatre of Charlotte); Corduroy, Escape from Peligro Island (Imagination Stage); Becoming Dr. Ruther (Theatre J); She the People (Second City at Woolly Mammoth); Watsons go to Birmingham (Kennedy Center); E2, All She Must Possess, The Other Place (Rep Stage); Queens Girl in the World, Queens Girl in Africa (Everyman Theatre); Paper Dolls, Queens Girl in Africa (Mosaic Theatre Company); Sarah resides in Baltimore with her dog and two pandemic kittens. www.sarahtundermann.com

Falstaff:

Cast

Sir John Falstaff: Mark Delavan
Ford: Brian Major
Alice Ford: Mary Feminear
Nannetta: TBA
Meg Page: Allegra de Vita
Mistress Quickly: Patricia Schumann
Fenton: TBA
Dr Caius: Mauricio Miranda
Bardolfo: Joseph Michael Brent
Pistola: Andrea Silvestrelli

Conductor: TBA
Visual Supervisor: David Gately
Projection Designer: Sarah Tundermann
Lighting Designer: Stuart Duke
MDLO Orchestra
MDLO Chorus

Synopsis

Act I

Falstaff and his servants, Bardolfo and Pistola, are drinking at the inn. Dr Caius bursts in and accuses Falstaff of burgling his house and Bardolfo of picking his pocket. Falstaff laughs at him; he leaves, vowing only to go drinking with honest, sober companions in future. When the innkeeper presents a bill for the wine, Falstaff tells Bardolfo and Pistola that he needs more money, and plans to obtain it by seducing the wives of two rich men, one of whom is Ford. Falstaff hands Bardolfo a love-letter to one of the wives (Alice Ford), and hands Pistola an identical letter addressed to the other (Meg). Bardolfo and Pistola refuse to deliver the letters, claiming that honour prevents them from obeying him. Falstaff loses his temper and rants at them, saying that “honour” is nothing but a word, with no meaning. Brandishing a broom, he chases them out of his sight.

Alice and Meg have received Falstaff’s letters. They compare them, see that they are identical and, together with Mistress Quickly and Nannetta Ford, resolve to punish Falstaff. Meanwhile, Bardolfo and Pistola warn Ford of Falstaff’s plan. Ford resolves to disguise himself and visit Falstaff and set a trap for him.

A young, handsome fellow called Fenton is in love with Ford’s daughter Nannetta, but Ford wants her to marry Dr. Caius, who is wealthy and respected. Fenton and Nannetta enjoy a moment of privacy, but are interrupted by the return of Alice, Meg and Mistress Quickly. The act ends with an ensemble in which the women and the men separately plan revenge on Falstaff, the women gleefully anticipating an enjoyable prank, while the men angrily mutter dire threats.

Act II

Falstaff is alone at the inn. Bardolfo and Pistola, now in the pay of Ford, enter and beg Falstaff to allow them to re-enter his service, secretly planning to spy on him for Ford. Mistress Quickly enters and tells him that Alice is in love with him and will be alone in Ford’s home that afternoon, from two o’clock until three o’clock, just time for an amorous dalliance. Falstaff celebrates his potential success.

Ford arrives, masquerading as a wealthy stranger, using the false name “Signor Fontana”. He tells Falstaff that he is in love with Alice, but she is too virtuous to entertain him. He offers to pay Falstaff to use his impressive title and (alleged) charms to seduce her away from her virtuous convictions, after which he (“Fontana”) might have a better chance of seducing her himself. Falstaff, delighted at the prospect of being paid to seduce the wealthy and beautiful woman, agrees, and reveals that he already has a rendezvous arranged with Alice for two o’clock – the hour when Ford is always absent from home. Ford is consumed with jealousy, but conceals his feelings. Falstaff withdraws to a private room to change into his finest clothes, and Ford, left alone, reflects on the evil of an uncertain marriage and vows to have revenge

The three women plot their strategy. Alice notices that Nannetta is too unhappy and anxious to share their gleeful anticipation. This is because Ford plans to marry her to Dr Caius, a man old enough to be her grandfather; the women reassure her that they will prevent it. Mistress Quickly announces Falstaff’s arrival, and Mistress Ford has a large laundry basket and a screen placed in readiness. Falstaff attempts to seduce Alice with tales of his past youth and glory. Mistress Quickly rushes in, shouting that Ford has returned home unexpectedly with a retinue of henchmen to catch his wife’s lover. Falstaff hides first behind the screen, but realizes that Ford will likely look for him there. The women urge him to hide in the laundry basket, which he does. In the meantime Fenton and Nannetta hide behind the screen for another moment of privacy. Ford and his men storm in and search for Falstaff, and hear the sound of Fenton and Nannetta kissing behind the screen. They assume it is Falstaff with Alice, but instead they find the young lovers. Ford orders Fenton to leave. Badly cramped and almost suffocating in the laundry hamper, Falstaff moans with discomfort while the men resume the search of the house. Alice orders her servants to throw the laundry basket through the window into the River Thames, where Falstaff endures the jeers of the crowd. Ford, seeing that Alice had never intended to betray him, smiles happily.

Act III

Falstaff, cold and discouraged, glumly curses the sorry state of the world. Some mulled wine soon improves his mood. Mistress Quickly arrives and delivers another invitation to meet Alice. Falstaff at first wants nothing to do with it, but she persuades him. He is to meet Alice at midnight at Herne’s Oak in Windsor Great Park dressed up as the ghost of Herne the Hunter who, according to local superstition, haunts the area near the tree, and appears there at midnight with a band of supernatural spirits. He and Mistress Quickly go inside the inn. Ford has realized his error in suspecting his wife, and they and their allies have been watching secretly. They now concoct a plan for Falstaff’s punishment: dressed as supernatural creatures, they will ambush and torment him at midnight. Ford draws Dr. Caius aside and privately proposes a separate plot to marry him to Nannetta: Nannetta will be disguised as Queen of the Fairies, Caius will wear a monk’s costume, and Ford will join the two of them with a nuptial blessing. Mistress Quickly overhears and quietly vows to thwart Ford’s scheme.

Fenton arrives at the oak tree and sings of his happiness ending with “Lips that are kissed lose none of their allure.” Nannetta enters to finish the line with “Indeed, they renew it, like the moon.” The women arrive and disguise Fenton as a monk, telling him that they have arranged to spoil Ford’s and Caius’s plans. Nannetta, as the Fairy Queen, instructs her helpers before all the characters arrive on the scene. Falstaff’s attempted love scene with Alice is interrupted by the announcement that witches are approaching, and the men, disguised as elves and fairies, soundly thrash Falstaff. In the middle of the beating, he recognizes Bardolfo in disguise. The joke is over, and Falstaff acknowledges that he has received his due. Ford announces that a wedding will ensue. Caius and the Queen of the Fairies enter. A second couple, also in masquerade, ask Ford to deliver the same blessing for them as well. Ford conducts the double ceremony. Caius finds that instead of Nannetta, his bride is the disguised Bardolfo, and Ford has unwittingly blessed the marriage of Fenton and Nannetta. Ford accepts the fait accompli with good grace. Falstaff, pleased to find himself not the only dupe, proclaims that all the world is folly, and all are figures of fun. The entire company repeats his proclamation in a bewildering ten-voice fugue.

Share

Register to receive special ticket offers and information about events

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this performance has been postponed and all ticket sales suspended until further notice. Please stay tuned for updates on our website.