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Falstaff

Falstaff

Saison 2018

Alle Dec Saison 2019

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Description

Falstaff - Giuseppe Verdi

Following the failure Un giorno di regno, Verdi’s early attempt at operatic comedy, the composer vowed to steer clear of this genre for the rest of his life. And so he did, until, that is, at the end of his long career he wrote his last work of musical theatre: a Falstaff that was also his final attempt at musical comedy. And what a comedy it was! Not since Donizetti’s Don Pasquale 50 years earlier had there been a significant humorous Italian opera: Verdi was therefore virtually breaking new ground, enabling him to reinvent the musical comedy in the process. The result is an opera which describes Falstaff ’s amorous adventures with ambiguous humour and supreme virtuosity, finally arriving at a brilliant conclusion with the final fugue: Tutto nel mondo . burla – all the world is a joke!

The corpulent Sir John Falstaff has no money left to pay his bills at the Garter Inn where he resides. Convinced that he absolutely irresistible to the female sex, he resolves to make a virtue of necessity. He writes two identical love letters to Alice Ford and Meg Page, two prosperous citizens of Windsor, asking them to keep a tryst with him. The ladies are merely amused by the advances of the fat drunkard, and together they hatch a plan to make a fool of Falstaff. They send Mrs. Quickly as a go-between to invite Falstaff to come to Alice Ford´s house between two and three o´clock, when her jealous husband will not be at home. Falstaff immediately accepts the invitation. Soon afterwards, Ford pays him a visit, pretending to be Signor Fontana, who has fallen in love with Alice but been rejected by her. He has heard about Falstaff´s reputation as a lover, and offers to pay him to prepare the ground for his own amorous advances. Falstaff boats to him that he will embrace Alice in his arms that very day. Believing that Alice is deceiving him, Ford rushes home between two and three o´clock, when Falstaff has already arrived at the house for his rendezvous with Alice. Just in time, the women manage to hide Falstaff in a laundry basket, which is emptied into the River Thames amidst peals of laughter. Falstaff is nevertheless persuaded to keep to yet another tryst. He is instructed to come to Windsor Park that night in the guise of the black Hunstman, wearing antlers on his head. Once in the park, he is attacked by people of the town dresses as elves and goblins, who torment him terribly. But Ford´s Plan also backfires: he intends to marry his daughter Nannetta, wo loves the poor Fenton, to Dr. Caius. In the general confusion, however, the couple find one another again. Who is now the cuckold, Falstaff muses complacently. However, everyone agrees: the whole world is a jest.

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