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Preview: Falstaff at Newcastle Theatre Royal


Five Reasons We Think Opera North’s Falstaff Is Perfect For Everyone...


Opera North

Verdi’s Falstaff

Newcastle Theatre Royal

Tuesday 31 October – Saturday 4 November 2023

Expect charm, cunning and comeuppance as Opera North bring Verdi’s Falstaff to Newcastle Theatre Royal during their week of performances as part of their Green Season this Autumn.

 Caddish knight Sir John Falstaff has fallen on hard times, and now plans to get his hands on some cash by seducing two wealthy wives of Windsor: Alice Ford and Meg Page. However, when the ladies find he has sent them both an identical love letter, they suss out what’s going on and plan to teach Falstaff a lesson…

Here are our top five reasons why we think this show’s perfect for everyone...

1.  For fashionistas:
Flares, shoulder pads, and glamour all the way! For this production, director Olivia Fuchs chose to transport audiences back to the 1980’s, much to the delight of costume designer Gabrielle Dalton. Falstaff promises to be a treat for the eyes as much as the ears! 

2.    For booklovers:
After a career in which he had composed some of opera’s greatest tragedies, Verdi turned to Shakespeare’s great comic rogue, drawing inspiration from Henry IV and The Merry Wives of Windsor to produce the rich, surprising score of his final masterpiece, Falstaff. 

3.    For drama queens:
Arrogant, vain and larger than life, Sir John Falstaff is the archetypal lovable rogue with his witty repartee and outrageous plans to win back his lost fortune. Opera’s trademark big emotions and dramatic scenes are no surprise to Henry Waddington who will be singing the role as he suggests “To Verdi, the character of Falstaff must have been so obviously operatic. So full of joy, so huge!”

4.    For music lovers:
Verdi’s compelling score is as unforgettable as the action on stage; it bursts with energy and wicked humour. Director Garry Walker, who conducts the opera, says: “It’s an absolute joy to explore the wit, humour and genius of this score.” Henry Waddington adds, “The score is utter joy …. The music bubbles and laughs along to the unfolding drama.” 

5.    For environmentalists:
All using shared scenic elements, designed by Leslie Travers, to create three interlinked yet distinctive designs, Falstaff is being performed alongside La rondine and Masque of Might as part of Opera North’s Green Season, enabling the company to reduce its use of materials and its carbon footprint. Audiences can join Opera North on their green journey by opting for an e-ticket or by choosing to travel to the theatre using their free metro ticket.

With its unforgettable score, outrageous characters and unexpected twists, Falstaff promises to be a riot! Opera North visit Newcastle Theatre Royal performing Falstaff, along with Masque of Might, a world premiere, repurposing the music of Purcell into a celebration of the natural world, as well as a stunning new production of Puccini’s romantic masterpiece La rondine.

Those who have never been to an opera can take advantage of the Try it ON offer and book up to two great seats in the stalls for just £20 each. Newcastle Theatre Royal also offer £10 tickets in the upper circle for those in full-time education.



Tuesday 31 October & Thursday 2 November 2023

New to Opera, Under 30s and package discounts available

Evenings: 7pm

Audio Described perf: Thu 2 Nov, 7pm

Running time: 2hrs 20mins (including interval)

Sung in English with English titles

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