‘Falstaff’ With All the Details in Place

By Anne Midgette [NY Times, 26 September 2005]

Verdi’s rich “Falstaff” pours out ideas in a fast-moving stream of glinting music. In James Levine’s hands at the Metropolitan Opera on Friday evening, the score emerged from the first notes as burnished, full-bodied and warm as the title character himself. Then Dr. Caius (Peter Bronder in his Met debut) took the stage and began singing in a strong, firm tenor.

When such a small part is so well cast, you are in for an unusual evening; the attention to detail that characterized this performance has become, unfortunately, unusual.