Falstaff at the Met
“Maltman was also a highlight, not just his character but his vocal performance standing as a worthy rival to Falstaff. The natural edge in his voice means he can move quickly between comic and threatening qualities. As the husband threatened by a possible cuckolding he was full of the self-serious energy of a great straight man, even while wearing a ridiculous Las Vegas cowboy outfit in his masquerade as Fontana, opposite Falstaff in his English riding clothes. As the two tried to out-swagger each other, they embodied superb clownishness, even without the red noses.”
“As the jealous husband Ford, Christopher Maltman similarly wedded comedic timing to an edge of something more dangerous. To the audience, Ford may be a comic role—particularly when he is dressed in a cowboy suit and a mullet wig, as he is here—but to Ford himself, the action could not have higher stakes.
Maltman was not afraid to ham it up in disguise as Fontana, but he played his aria with all the wounded pride of a tragic hero, finding, like Pérez and Volle, the undercurrents of dramatic feeling that run through this comic opera.”
“Christopher Maltman combines an easy comic timing and emotional outbursts in both Ford and as Mr. Fontana, dressed in a ludicrous cowboy outfit, complete with mullet. Maltman’s sterling baritone expresses both Ford’s jealousy and his eventual generosity beautifully, and in his scenes as Mr. Fontana, we get a worthy bookend of the good-actor-playing-bad-actor to complement Lamieux’s Mistress Quickly.”
“In the getup of a Rhinestone Cowboy, complete with cowhide-covered briefcase, Christopher Maltman gave Ford in his ‘Mr. Fontana’ guise a Texas-sized flamboyance. This bravura vanished, however, when Ford learned that Falstaff had already arranged an assignation with his wife. Maltman gave voice to Ford’s rage in a controlled-burn account of ‘È sogno o realtà?’, yielding graciously later to being outwitted by his wife in arranging the marriage of their daughter, Nanetta, and Fenton.”