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Bryn Terfel brings Falstaff the rogue to life in Liverpool

He’s just come from performing the role in Paris – so merci beaucoup to the French for helping Sir Bryn Terfel warm up for his big Liverpool dates!

Because this week the world-famous Welsh bass-baritone will appear as the larger-than-life roisterer Falstaff at the Philharmonic Hall in a semi-staged version of Verdi’s comic masterpiece.

The two performances of Falstaff, complete with large cast of top notch opera singers and the RLPO – and all under the baton of Vasily Petrenko, is part of the 52-year-old’s latest artistic residency in Liverpool.

Four years ago, he sang in Tosca at Hope Street, alongside young voices from the Liverpool-based European Opera Centre.

And selected singers from EOC will join Sir Bryn and fellow professionals again this time.

“It was something new for me when we did Tosca, and it worked with certain roles,” says Terfel. “I think Falstaff does lend itself to roles to be given to young voices.

“It will be quite interesting for whomever has been given the roles by this wonderful idea of giving somebody changes. I would have given my right arm to have been associated with performing an opera at that tender age.”

Above: Verdi's Requiem. Photo by Mark McNulty. Top: Bryn Terfel - photo by Warren Orchard.

The residency kicked off at the weekend with a superlative Verdi Requiem, involving the magnificent massed ranks of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, and there is also a Night at the Musicals concert led by West End star Ruthie Henshall and with Terfel singing numbers including Some Enchanted Evening, If I Were a Rich Man, and Stars from Les Mis.

“The last time, we put on a musicals night just to have the sense of people hearing these wonderful West End singers,” he explains. “And John Owen Jones was the master that night. I wanted that night to be John’s night. I think people were expecting me to sing more that night, but it’s somebody else’s evening.

“So that’s why Ruthie is taking over the baton for that night, which I’m sure will again be tremendous.

“And it is a shadow maybe of my Faenol days, I had a festival, you know, in North Wales that lasted for nine years. Sadly, it ended after nine. Now I seem to be on tour with my own festival.

“So it’s just incredible to be back in Liverpool once again.”

Verdi’s Falstaff is at the Philharmonic Hall on November 24 and 26. A Night at the Musicals is on November 29. Tickets from the website HERE

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