The first act was pretty grim, pleasant enough in a 'programme music' sort of way, but sooo slow and dull; the sort of thing that people who think they don't like opera think of, when they think about opera...
I nearly scarpered, but am glad I didn't, as the second act was a *lot* better; quite lively and lyrical. On the whole,though I'm glad I saw it. (But I think once in a lifetime probably is enough.)
John Gunter's sets were really rather gorgeous. Mostly we had two Tudor-style transparent doll house-like structures, which were wheeled and whirled around cleverly.The Hern's Oak finale actually looked quite magical.
The costumes were Edwardian, with Alistair Mile's very good Ford done up to look like Soames Forsyth. Andrew Shore as a not overy buffoonish Falstaff, and Robert Tear as Dr. Caius had their moments, too.
The whole cast was stromg; quite a few biggish names, and all 'very professional'.
The place was packed, much to my surprise. I guess everyone thought, like me, that this opera probably isn't going to pop up again any time soon, so it's best to make the effort.
Yeah, it was worth seeing, at least that second act, and there was a lot of cheering at the end.