Saturday, March 08, 2008

Bryn at his best

Four friends came over from Geneva for the weekend, to hear Bryn Terfel sing Verdi's 'Falstaff' at the Millennium Centre. What a splendid occasion! What a superb production.

The final scene is intriguing.

After Falstaff has been humiliated and tricked and bullied into repentance, he cheerily accepts his come-uppance and says something like "Well, there we are. What would you do without me to laugh at, and raise an excuse for a party?" Everyone admits they've all been equally fools as he, then, at the end of the astonishing choral fugue that finishes the opera, Falstaff is hoisted into the air over the crowd, to loud cheers. Dressed, as he is in scarlet, grinning from ear to ear, Falstaff's pose, instantly evoked the imagery of an icon of the Ascension of Christ. Accidental? Or studied?

But there was something about that last act, moving from humiliation to reconciliation, which had a gentle passiontide feel to it. And not just because Falstaff was wearing red.

Oh yes, and Rhys Meirion, another North Walian star in the making sang in beautiful clear tenor voice, taking me back to the Chrismtas concert at St John's in which he sang 'O holy night' the best I heard it from anyone in 2007.

Praise the Lord we are a musical nation - as Organ Morgan once declared.

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