The Metropolitan Opera: Falstaff

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Giuseppe Verdi's commedia lirica, Falstaff, will be performed at The Metropolitan Opera.

Falstaff is one of Verdi's few forays into comic opera. The libretto, by Arrigo Boito, is based on William Shakespeare’s 'The Merry Wives of Windsor'. The leading character, despite his inevitable buffo traits, his grasping and calculating hedonism, possesses a natural dignity and intelligence which make him deeply endearing. The plot recounts how two wealthy ladies from Windsor successfully set a trap to punish him for his ridiculous attempts to woo them. The ending, needless to say, is happy.

Verdi’s musical language is highly advanced and his orchestration outstanding. The moving finale, with its splendidly ironic fuga buffa, 'Tutto nel mondo è burla', was the aged composer’s farewell.

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