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If you can find a way to see one of the last 3 performances of Seattle Opera's new production of Verdi's "Falstaff".....do it.

Yes, the music is sublime, the singers terrific (I would walk on hot coals to see Stephie Blythe any time any where), but IMO it is the stage direction by Peter Kazaras that makes this production a must see. Kazaras was a terrific tenor on the stage in his day; now he directs Seattle Opera's "Young Artists Program" (YAP) among other things. I've admired his inventive direction at YAP performances over the years, but I always thought of them as a clever way to present his operas with limited resources and space. Now having seen his Falstaff on the big stage, I understand his inventiveness is far more than that. I found his interpretation of this great work completely refreshing. It is so creative, so inventive, so genuine, so....I guess I'll say it....so Shakespearian!

It struck me that Kazaras has broken away from the tired cliches of "your standard opera production" in the dead opposite direction than folks like LePage have done with video etc. Kazaras's creativity is essentially traditional, but with a wit and a freshness that gives this production the same excitement that the avant guarde creativity can do. Frankly, I would not have thought that possible. How can something new and exciting come out of a traditional approach? Karazas does just that in this production.

If you're a bit jaded, I doubly encourage you to see this production. You'd have to be jaded indeed to not have this production win you over as something new, different, and significant.

I predict we will all hear more about Peter Kazaras the Director in the years to come.

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