Magazine article Opera Canada

Victoria

Magazine article Opera Canada

Victoria

Article excerpt

Scottish bass Brian Bannatyne-Scott owned the title role in Pacific Opera Victoria's rock-solid, season-opening production ofVerdi's Falstaff (seen Oct. 17). From the moment he appeared scrubbing his own back in a large bathtub (his ample padded frame modestly covered in red long johns), he made it clear that he had the vocal heft and the sad-clown vulnerability to bring the boasting old fool to glorious, even sympathetic, life.

But Bannatyne-Scott was by no means alone in his triumph. The rest of the cast, all Canadian, held their own magnificently. Baritone Brett Polegato's Ford was no cuckolded stock figure, but a man who is truly devastated by the idea that his wife may be betraying him. His Act II,"E sogno o realta?" was both touching and powerful in true Shakespearean style.

Polegato was terrifically funny, too, a trait he shared with soprano Joni Henson as Alice Ford. Henson has great vocal and dramatic power, but understands how to harness it to serve a lighter text such as this. …

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