In Verdi’s “Falstaff,” all the world’s a jest

Nov 20, 2013 864

What better way to celebrate Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi's bicentennial than with a production of Falstaff? This opera, which adapts William Shakespeare's Henry IV, Parts I and II, and the Bard's The Merry Wives of Windsor, is nothing short of a sheer delight.

The title character Falstaff (baritone Roberto Frontali in makeup and a fat suit it takes 55 minutes to get into) is about insatiable appetites, in and out of bed. The whimsical story presents the somewhat stereoptypical but witty war between the sexes, pitting the frail male ego against feminine wiles and, well, you surely can guess how that one ends up, right?

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