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Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development



Venue: National Centre for the Performing Arts - Opera House

Dates: December 03-10, 2017


The three-act opera Falstaff was adopted from the image of the character Falstaff in Shakespeare’s Henry IV and The Merry Wives of Windsor by the scriptwriter Boito, with music composed by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. Falstaff is Verdi’s swan song. In his later years Verdi collaborated with Boito in creating Falstaff in a buoyant style of writing with inspiration from Shakespeare’s works. Verdi gave this complicated role rounded personalities and described his absurdity in a lyric style, making Falstaff an intriguing work of art. Falstaff has been listed in global opera houses’ repertoire, which is greatly different in style from his earlier works. The composer integrated his rich feelings and experiences about life into the creation of this opera. As Verdi’s last opera, it was composed by his best techniques.


The story took place in Windsor in central England between 1399 and 1413, when Henry IV had reigned over England. The knight Falstaff writes a love letter to both Ford’s wife Alice and Page’s wife Meg. However, what he does disgusts Alice, Meg, Dr. Caius, Fenton and his servants Bardolfo and Pistola, who join up to set up a trap for him: Alice and Meg pretend to fall in love him twice but only to make fun of him. Meanwhile, they cleverly arrange for Alice’s daughter Nannetta to marry her lover Fenton, thus preventing Ford from thinking about betrothing Nannetta to Caius.


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