TO CLOSE OUT ITS SEASON, Arizona Opera did very well by the serious comic challenge of Verdi’s final masterwork…Chuck Hudson’s imaginative staging—on a splendidly evoked onstage galleried Elizabethan theater (by Douglas Provost and Peter Nolle) with Henry Venanzi’s well-drilled chorus (in contemporary clothes) as an increasingly participatory element—proved an eyeful, usually in successful ways…Hudson certainly directed one of the most consistently amusing Falstaff stagings I’ve seen. People laughed not only at subtitles, but at character-based comedy. Hudson was thorough.
Soaring sopranos and fat jokes make 'Falstaff' a very merry season finale for Arizona Opera: Arizona Opera’s season finale of “Falstaff” celebrates the work’s Shakespearean inspiration with a lovely set re-creating the Globe Theatre, complete with audience members on stage…which is just one of many surprises in store in an entertaining staging by director Chuck Hudson…In addition to serving up a delightsome dessert for the 2015-16 season, “Falstaff” is also the farewell production for Arizona Opera’s general director, Ryan Taylor…(and) this crowd-pleasing and musically astute performance of “Flagstaff” definitely sends him off on a high note.
Our last Falstaff in Phoenix was fantastic.....50 second applause in the MIDDLE of the fugue.....WOW!! Now THAT'S how you close out a tenure RYAN TAYLOR!!!
Breaking ground with Arizona's first 'Falstaff': the last time director Chuck Hudson helmed an Arizona Opera production, it turned into a profitable venture for the company. For the 2013-14 season finale, Hudson created a new concept for the company’s production of “Don Pasquale,” setting it in 1950s Hollywood. Fast-forward to the 2015-16 season finale this weekend, and Hudson is at it again, this time re-creating the classic Old Globe Theatre used in Shakespeare’s day as a setting for Verdi’s “Falstaff.”...(Craig) Colclough, who was in Hudson’s “Don Pasquale” two years ago, has done the heavy, almost depressing version of Falstaff…He prefers Hudson’s production that “sticks very closely to Verdi’s score and the libretto, which at its heart is hilarious. That’s my preference.”