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Falstaff on the Golf Course

Verdi: Falstaff (in a new film version by Tony Britten & Jonathan Gill)

Ian Jervis Falstaff
Julian Forsyth Ford
Jan Hartley Alice
Kate Lovell Nanetta
Andy Morton Fenton
Simon Butteriss Doctor Caius

Music director: Jonathan Gill
Director:Tony Britten

Music Theatre London/Capital Films/Signum Vision AC3 5.1

Not to be confused with Shakespeare and Boito, this updated comedy film version from the well loved Drill Hall opera productions of Tony Britten will not please dedicated opera lovers unless they bring to it a sense of humour that accords with Britten's, and a respect for actors who sing a bit...

Verdi. however, emerges triumphant and the reduced accompanying ensemble is splendid. The players are named in the rolling credits but not in the booklet. The Behind the Scenes Documentary gives a necessary orientation for approaching the project, but the insistence of the cast members on how marvellously they all get on with each other is jarring.

It divided us at home; one found it slow and tedious, the other involving and enjoyable, identifying with the cast as each tackled with a will, and varying success, musical lines composed for seasoned, trained opera singers. For opera buffs who have famous renderings by opera house stars in their heads it can sound a travesty. One of those experts offers a damning put-down - Oh dear, this is truly awful - in MusicalCriticism.

Others, enjoy...

Peter Grahame Woolf