Athena Opera UGA Opera Ensemble to present Verdi’s Falstaff

Athena Opera UGA Opera Ensemble to present Verdi's Falstaff

Athens, Ga. – The Athena Opera University of Georgia Opera Ensemble will present a concert performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s comedy Falstaff on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. in Hodgson Concert Hall at the UGA Performing Arts Center. A dress rehearsal for the performance on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. is open to the public. General admission tickets are $15 for adults ($10 dress rehearsal) and $5 for UGA students. Children 15 and younger will be admitted free of charge.

Based on different sections of two plays by Shakespeare, Henry IV and The Merry Wives of Windsor, Falstaff was the last opera composed by Verdi and only his second comedy. In Falstaff, Verdi was able to create, with the librettist Arrigo Boito, 10 comic personalities that are put together into an amalgam of a story based on the Falstaff character.

“The characters have their own individual personalities, with their own little stories within the larger story, each with a very distinct funniness about them,” said Frederick Burchinal, a 20-year principal artist of the Metropolitan Opera who has been on the faculty of the Hugh Hodgson School of Music since 2006. Burchinal has sung more than 130 performances as baritone at the Met in 20 different productions. His Falstaff, which is coming to Athens in this performance, has been heard in opera houses all over the world.

“The final fugue is a musical masterpiece all by itself,” Burchinal added. “As a 10-part instrumental-type fugue for voices, it is extremely intricate and very difficult to sing and to remember.”

In addition to university faculty and students enrolled in the opera ensemble, the performance will feature Brent Davis, a baritone with the Atlanta Opera, as Ford. Admission revenue from the dress rehearsal and the performance will go to support future productions of the opera.

To purchase tickets, see the UGA Performing Arts Center online at http://www.uga.edu/pac/.