Verdi's Last Comedy
Falstaff was Giuseppe Verdi's final opera, premiered in 1893. A comedic departure from Verdi's typically serious works, it's based on Shakespeare's 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' and scenes from 'Henry IV'.
Arrigo Boito: Librettist Collaboration
The libretto was crafted by Arrigo Boito, who also worked with Verdi on 'Otello'. Their collaboration was pivotal, with Boito's profound understanding of Shakespeare enhancing Verdi's musical expressiveness.
Innovative Musical Structure
Unlike Verdi's earlier operas that followed the traditional format of arias and recitatives, 'Falstaff' features a through-composed score, blurring the lines between sections and creating a fluid musical narrative.
Character of Sir John Falstaff
Falstaff is a boisterous, witty knight. His character's complexity is masterfully depicted through Verdi's music, embodying both comedic elements and a nuanced human depth.
The Role of Women
'Falstaff' stands out for its strong female characters. The women of Windsor band together, outsmarting Falstaff and driving the opera's plot with intelligence and camaraderie.
A Critical Turnaround
Initially, 'Falstaff' received mixed reviews, with some critics unimpressed. However, as understanding of its sophistication grew, it became a staple in the operatic repertoire, celebrated for its brilliance.
Legacy and Influence
Falstaff's musical innovations influenced 20th-century opera composers. It demonstrated that advanced age doesn't hinder creativity; Verdi composed this masterpiece in his late 70s.