Verdi’s Falstaff comes to Westchester for the First Time


Saturday, October 18, 2014
8:00 pm - 10:45 pm


Taconic Opera opens its 17th Season with Giuseppe Verdi’s final opera, Falstaff, based on Shakespeare’s hilarious comedy, The Merry Wives of Windsor.  After an illustrious career in dramatic opera and being considered its undisputed king in his day, the composer actually came out of retirement in order to add a comedic gem to his crown.  “This is the most daunting opera we have ever attempted,” says General Director Dan Montez.  “It is insane to cast.  There are enough leading roles for four operas and we tend to double-cast most roles.  Finding that much talent for one opera can be daunting, but Taconic Opera has done it.  The company sent out notices to every professional lead singer who has sung with the company since its inception.  There was so much interest by singers that had experience in the respective roles and a strong desire to perform them again that the cast came together quickly.”

Falstaff is like no other opera by the famed composer. Verdi’s early works were “bel canto” operas which focused primarily on demonstrating the beauty and versatility of the human voice. Falstaff is a “verismo” opera, or one which is marked by melodramatic plots with characters drawn from everyday life and whose musical devices included passionate solo voices and emotionally charged harmonies. In verismo opera, gone are the recognizable “oom-pah-pah’s” in the accompaniment, and the orchestra becomes as vital and important as the singers. “It is a struggle to learn,” says Montez. “It already scared away a few singers who started to learn it and realized they may fall short of the mark! The final Verdi-loving cast members selected are ready and eager to thrill our audience with their outstanding singing and acting abilities.”

Taconic Opera’s production comes quickly on the heels of the new Falstaff production at the Metropolitan Opera, but Montez, who also stage directs all of the company’s operas, insists that it will not resemble the Met’s unique staging. “The Met’s version was wonderful,” says Montez.  “But I don’t copy. I look at the score, and make my own decisions.”  In a comedy, especially one by Shakespeare, there is a lot of room for interpretation in any time period or style because human nature is human nature.  The Met’s version featured a huge kitchen scene that brought the house down.  Will Taconic Opera be able to do the same?  For starters, the company is bringing back Jorge Ocasio in the title role.  Ocasio has been the funny-man (buffo) in the company’s recent productions of Italian Girl in Algiers, Daughter of the Regiment and Don Pasquale, and has induced audience reactions from genuinely amused chuckling to outright explosions of laughter.  He is a comedic master who is thoroughly engaging during every moment on stage.

The final words of the opera are “Everyone in the world is a fool” as the opera turns the tables on the audience and tells them that the joke is on them. A wonderful ending to this prolific composer’s body of work as he shares his final wisdom with the world.

Event Location and Ticket Information

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Yorktown Stage (Entrance on Veteran’s Road)
1974 Commerce St.
Yorktown Heights, NY
Handicap Accessible? Yes

Date: Saturday, October 18, 2014
Times: 8:00 pm - 10:45 pm

Ticket pricing:

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57 - Orchestra
39 - Side
27 - Back
7 - Senior deduction
15 - Students

Presenter: Taconic Opera
Presenter Phone: 1-855-886-7372
Presenter Website:

Sponsor Message

There is no substitute for live opera, especially when performed in an intimate setting. Taconic Opera is the recipient of the 2012 ArtsWestchester Organziation of the Year Award.
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