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Gran Teatre del Liceu - Barcelona, December 2010
This coproduction from The Welsh Naional Opera (Cardiff) and The Opéra National de Lyon with Music direction of Fabio Luisi and stage direction of Peter Stein of The “commedia lirica” ,Giuseppe Verdi's last Opera, "Falstaff", will be performed at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona during the month of December with The Liceu Symphony Orchestra and the Gran Teatre del Liceu Chorus having on stage two different casts (the second with a nearly complete Spanish cast at reduced prices) being in the leading roles of Falstaf: Ambrogio Maestri and Joan Pons; Alice Ford: Fiorenza Cedolins and Maite Alberola; Ford: Ludovic Tézier, Àngel Òdena; Nanetta: Mariola Cantarero and Ruth Rosique; Mistress Quickly Elisabetta Fiorillo, Enkelejda Shkosa; Meg Peg Maite Beaumont and Anna Tobella; Fenton Carlos Cosías and Joel Prieto; Dr. Caius Raúl Giménez; Bardolfo; Francisco Vas and Pistola Carlos Chausson.
Verdi’s Falstaff is one of his few incursions into comic opera, with libretto by Arrigo Boito is based on the work "The Merry Wives of Windsor" by William Shakespeare. First released on 9 February 1893 at the Teatro alla Scala and premiered at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona only 3 years later on 18 April 1896.
This will be the chance to have in The Gran Teatre del Liceu de Barcelona two baritones Ambrogio Maestri and Joan Pons both playing the role of Falstaff, role that did opened both of them their careers.
Joan Pons, Born in Ciutadella, Balearic Islands, in 1946, is recognized worldwide as one of the best baritones of our time. He gained worldwide attention in December 1980 when he opened the season at Teatro alla Scala in Milan in the title role of Falstaff with production of Giorgio Strehler, under the direction of Lorin Maazel. Throughout his long career, Joan Pons has been singing with the most prestigious opera companies in the world, including the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House in London, the Opera Bastille in Paris, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich , Hamburg and Zurich, the Gran Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona, Teatro de la Zarzuela and Teatro Real in Madrid, Rome and Florence Opera Houses, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Teatro Regio in Parma, The Arena of Verona, the Baths of Caracalla, debut in Metropolitan in New York in 1983 being there regularly on during the season and having played also in other American theaters in Chicago, Dallas, Washington DC, San Diego and San Francisco. He sang opposite Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti at the opening of the 1994-1995 season at the Metropolitan.
Ambrogio Maestri is regarded by critics as one of the best baritones of his generation, born in Pavia, 1970, studied piano and singing in his city, and improved his studies with the Tenor Umberto Grilli. His sensational debut coincided with the most important musical event of the "Verdi's Centennial" (2001), Falstaff under the music direction of Riccardo Muti and Giorgio Strehler as stage director at the Teatro alla Scala and Teatro Verdi in the historical Busseto where he performed in the presence of President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. This interpretation earned him rave reviews by the Italian and international press and opened the doors of the most important Opera houses in the world. Since then his career continues to rise, working with best directors as Riccardo Mutti, Jeffrey Tate or Zubin Mehta, stage directors as Franco Zeffirelli or Liliana Cavani and playing opposite to well known artists like Placido Domingo, in important theaters Washington Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Teatro Real in Madrid, Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, Staatsoper in Monaco Arena of Verona or the New National Theatre Tokyo Opéra-Bastille di Parigi, San Francisco Opera House and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.