Opera: Sir John in Love

sirjohnpic_small.jpgRichard Morrison at the Coliseum [Times Online, 4 March 2006]
SINCE professional productions of Vaughan Williamsís Falstaff opera come round every 48 years or so, we should savour Ian Judgeís delightful new staging for English National Opera. Shifting Shakespeareís merry wives to the Edwardian Home Counties of Vaughan Williamsís own era works well; it makes the dissolute old knight seem even more adrift amid the increasingly assertive middle-classes. John Gunterís flexible wood-framed set also cleverly hops epochs. It is skeletonal enough to evoke both Tudor gables and mock-Tudor suburbia.