Falstaff, the bumbling, portly knight who has a habit of stealing the show in various Shakespeare plays, takes center stage in Verdi's final opera. Two wealthy matrons, Alice Ford and Meg Page, receive identical love notes from Falstaff. The offended (and slightly amused) women decide to have their revenge by pulling some pranks on Falstaff, with the help of Nannetta (Alice's daughter) and Dame Quickly. Alice feigns attraction to the oaf, but when her husband returns home, angered after hearing word that his wife was having a romantic rendezvous, Alice convinces Falstaff to hide in a tub of dirty laundry which she tosses out the window and into the muddy river. Falstaff plays the fool again when he agrees to meet Alice in the park at midnight. The entire ensemble dresses up as goblins and fairies and tricks him into believing that the park is haunted. Only after he begs for mercy do they reveal their true identities. In the confusion, Mr. Ford accidentally blesses the marriage of his daughter Nannetta to her true love, which he had previously disapproved. Both Mr. Ford and Falstaff are in good humor about being tricked, though, and the opera ends with everyone celebrating the mirthful aspects of life.
|Cast:||Ruggero Raimondi, Luca Salsi, Virginia Tola, Sabina Puértolas, Tiberius Simu, Cinzia De Mola, Liliana Mattei, Gregory Bonfatti, Pietro Picone, Luciano Montanaro|