Arts & Entertainment

Very occasionally you are lucky enough to encounter a performance in which a sort of mystical transformation takes place: when the music and the way it is performed simply embody the emotion that underlies it.

Falstaff, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Even when it was new, 20 years ago, Peter Stein's staging of Verdi's last opera in the confined spaces of Cardiff's New Theatre was an oasis of clarity and good sense amid a sea of directorial postmodernism. Revived on Monday on the wider WMC stage, it had a faintly retro air, with the Globe-like balconies and arcades of Lucio Fanti's sets requiring lengthy scene-changes and two substantial intervals. No pacey modernism here, and not a Zimmer frame or an orange bowler hat to be seen. Moidele Bickel's costumes are about context, not subtext.

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