It’s that time again – the BP Summer Big Screens have been erected in locations all over the UK and on Wednesday 30 May 2012, it was the turn of London’s Trafalgar Square to host a free screening of Verdi’s Falstaff.
It is a wonderful series of events that this year is celebrating 25 years of live and free outdoor performances on BP Summer Big Screens, courtesy of the Royal Opera House. They way it works is via live broadcasts from the Royal Opera House stage, to the audience – this time based in Trafalgar Square.
In addition to the wonderful performance on stage, between the action they were screening some behind the screens footage and interval films.
It is a great way to introduce the less familiar to the Royal Opera House, and prove it is a much more inclusive venue and genre of performance than people may assume. Offering world class ballet and opera in a super relaxed and social summer style, it surely whets the appetite for attending more performances – at the Royal Opera House as well as at more Summer Screens. It’s almost like a mini-festival – especially when the picnics and cushions come out. Of course, Wednesday evening’s performance was very busy – with people jostling for a top spot to snuggle up to watch the piece.
Falstaff is Verdi’s final opera, and it tells the story of a somewhat larger-sized knight who has a large appetite for love, life and laughter. His love for the ladies is not quite reciprocated, however, and thus three ladies plot to end his unwanted advances forever. This Robert Carsen production, aired live on the big screen, is set in a 1950s England.
The reviews from Carsen’s Falstaff are wonderful and certainly explain why the summer events have been so successful for the last 25 years – more to continue, certainly.