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Comic Opera

A King Against His Will
A Night's Rest At Granada
Abu Hassan
Aida
Alessandro Stradella
Armida
Ballo In Maschera
Bearskin
Benvenuto Cellini
By Order Of His Highness
Carmen
Cavalleria Rusticana
Cosi Fan Tutte
Delila
Der Freischuetz
Djamileh
Don Carlos
Don Juan
Don Pasquale
Donna Diana
Elektra
Ernani
Eugene Onegin
Euryanthe
Falstaff
Fidelio
Flauto Solo
Fra Diavolo
Frauenlob
Friend Fritz
Genoveva
Guglielmo Tell
Gustavus The Third
Hamlet
Hans Heiling
Hansel And Gretel
Henry The Lion
Herrat
Hoffmann's Tales
Idle Hans
Idomeneus
Il Barbiere Di Seviglia
Il Demonio
Il Seraglio
Il Trovatore
Ingrid
Iphigenia In Aulis
Iphigenia In Tauris
Jean De Paris
Jessonda
Joseph In Egypt
Junker Heinz Sir Harry
Kirke Circe
L'africaine
La Boheme
La Dame Blanche
La Figlia Del Reggimento
La Juive The Jewess
La Muette De Portici
La Somnambula
La Traviata
Le Domino Noir
Le Nozze Di Figaro
Le Prophete
Les Huguenots
Little Bare Foot
Lohengrin
Lorle
Love's Battle
Lucia Di Lammermoor
Lucrezia Borgia
Madame Butterfly
Manon
Manru
Marga
Marguerite
Martha
Melusine
Merlin
Mignon
Moloch
Nausikaa
Norma
Oberon
Odysseus' Death
Odysseus' Return
Orfeo E Eurydice
Othello
Pagliacci
Philemon And Baucis
Preciosa
Rienzi The Last Of The Tribunes
Rigoletto
Robert Le Diable
Romeo E Giulietta
Salome
Sealed
Siegfried
Silvana
Tannhaeuser
The Alpine King And The Misanthrope
The Apothecary
The Armorer
The Barber Of Bagdad
The Beauties Of Fogaras
The Bell Of The Hermit
The Cid
The Cricket On The Hearth
The Departure
The Devil's Part
The Dusk Of The Gods
The Evangelimann
The Fledermaus The Bat
The Flying Dutchman
The Folkungs
The Golden Cross
The King Has Said It
The Lowlands
The Maccabees
The Magic Flute
The Maidens Of Schilda
The Master-singers Of Nueremberg
The Master-thief
The Merry Wives Of Windsor
The Nibelungen Ring
The Nuremberg Doll
The Piper Of Hameln
The Plague Of Darkness
The Poacher
The Postilion Of Longjumeau
The Queen Of Sheba
The Sold Bride
The Taming Of The Shrew
The Templar And The Jewess
The Three Pintos
The Trumpeter Of Saekkingen
The Two Grenadiers
The Two Peters
The Vampire
The Walkyrie
Tosca
Tristan And Isolda
Undine
Urvasi
Wedding's Morning
Werther
Will O' The Wisp
Zampa


The Standard Operaglass

A Night's Rest At Granada
Aida
Alessandro Stradella
Armida
Bearskin
Benvenuto Cellini
Carmen
Cavalleria Rusticana
Delila
Der Freischuetz
Djamileh
Don Carlos
Don Juan
Elektra
Ernani
Eugene Onegin
Euryanthe
Fidelio
Flauto Solo
Frauenlob
Friend Fritz
Genoveva
Guglielmo Tell
Gustavus The Third
Hamlet
Hans Heiling
Hansel And Gretel
Henry The Lion
Herrat
Hoffmann's Tales
Idle Hans
Idomeneus
Il Demonio
Il Seraglio
Il Trovatore
Ingrid
Iphigenia In Aulis
Iphigenia In Tauris
Jessonda
Joseph In Egypt
Junker Heinz Sir Harry
Kirke Circe
L'africaine
La Boheme
La Juive The Jewess
La Muette De Portici
La Somnambula
La Traviata
Le Prophete
Les Huguenots
Little Bare Foot
Lohengrin
Lorle
Love's Battle
Lucia Di Lammermoor
Lucrezia Borgia
Madame Butterfly
Manon
Manru
Marga
Marguerite
Melusine
Merlin
Mignon
Moloch
Nausikaa
Norma
Oberon
Odysseus' Death
Odysseus' Return
Orfeo E Eurydice
Othello
Pagliacci
Philemon And Baucis
Preciosa
Rienzi The Last Of The Tribunes
Rigoletto
Robert Le Diable
Romeo E Giulietta
Salome
Siegfried
Silvana
Tannhaeuser
The Alpine King And The Misanthrope
The Cid
The Cricket On The Hearth
The Dusk Of The Gods
The Evangelimann
The Fledermaus The Bat
The Flying Dutchman
The Folkungs
The Golden Cross
The Lowlands
The Maccabees
The Magic Flute
The Master-singers Of Nueremberg
The Master-thief
The Nibelungen Ring
The Piper Of Hameln
The Plague Of Darkness
The Queen Of Sheba
The Templar And The Jewess
The Trumpeter Of Saekkingen
The Vampire
The Walkyrie
Tosca
Tristan And Isolda
Undine
Urvasi
Wedding's Morning
Werther
Will O' The Wisp
Zampa



Falstaff








A lyric Comedy in three acts by GIUSEPPE VERDI.

Text by ARRIGO BOITO.


Nobody who hears this opera would believe, that it has been written by
a man in his eightieth year. So much freshness, wit and originality
seem to be the privilege of youth alone. But the wonder has been
achieved, and Verdi has won a complete success with an opera,--which
runs in altogether different lines from his old-ones, another wonder of
an abnormally strong and original mind.

Falstaff was first represented in Milan in February 1893; since then it
has made its way to all theatres of renown, and it is now indisputable
that we have in it a masterpiece of composition and orchestration.
Those who only look for the easy-flowing melodies of the younger Verdi
will be disappointed; art is predominant, besides an exuberant humour
full of charm for every cultivated hearer. The numbers which attract
most are the gossiping scene between the four women in the first act,
Falstaffs air "Auand'ero paggio del Duca di Norfolk era sottile" in the
second, and the fairy music in the last act.

The text is so well known to all readers of Shakespeare, that it may be
recorded quite shortly. It is almost literally that of the Merry Wives
of Windsor. The first scene is laid in the Garter Inn of that town.
After a quarrel with the French Physician Dr. Cajus, who has been
robbed while drunk by Falstaff's servants Bardolph and Pistol,
Falstaff orders them off with two love-letters for Mrs. Alice Ford and
Mrs. Meg Page. The Knaves refusing indignantly to take the parts of
go-betweens Falstaff sends them to the devil and gives the letters to
the page Robin.

In the second act the two ladies having shown each other the
love-letters, decide to avenge themselves on the old fat fool.

Meanwhile Falstaff's servants betray their master's intentions towards
Mrs. Ford to her husband, who swears to guard his wife, and to keep a
sharp eye on Sir John. Then ensues a love-scene between Fenton and Mr.
Ford's daughter Anna, who is destined by her father to marry the rich
Dr. Cajus, but who by far prefers her poor suitor Fenton.

After a while the merry Wives assemble again, in order to entice
Falstaff into a trap. Mrs. Quickley brings him an invitation to Mrs.
Ford's house in absence of the lady's husband, which Sir John accepts
triumphantly.

Sir John is visited by Mr. Ford, who assumes the name of Mr. Born, and
is nothing loth to drink the bottles of old Cypros-wine, which the
latter has brought with him. Born also produces a purse filled with
sovereigns, and entreats Falstaff to use it in order to get admittance
to a certain Mrs. Ford, whose favour Born vainly sought. Falstaff
gleefully reveals the rendez-vous, which he is to have with the lady
and thereby leaves poor disguised Mr. Ford a prey to violent jealousy.



The next scene contains Falstaff's well-known interview with
mischievous Alice Ford, which is interrupted by Mrs. Meg's announcement
of the husband.

Falstaff is packed into a washing-basket, while husband and neighbours
search for him in vain. This scene, in which Falstaff, half
suffocated, alternately sighs and begs to be let out, while the women
tranquilly sit on the basket and enjoy their trick, is extremely comic.
The basket with Falstaff, full wash and all is turned over into a
canal, accompanied by the women's laughter.

In the third act Mrs. Quickley succeeds once more to entice the old
fool. She orders him to another rendez-vous in the Park at midnight,
and advises him to come in the disguise of Herne the black hunter. The
others hear of the joke and all decide to punish him thoroughly for his
fatuity. Ford, who has promised Dr. Cajus, to unite Anna to him the
very night, tells him to wear a monk's garb, and also reveals to him,
that Anna is to wear a white dress with roses. But his wife,
overhearing this, frustrates his designs. She gives a black monk's
garb to Fenton, while Anna chooses the costume of the Fairy-Queen
Titania. When Falstaff appears in his disguise he is attacked on all
sides by fairies, wasps, flies and mosquitos and they torment him so
long, until he cries for mercy. Meanwhile Cajus, in a grey monk's garb
looks for his bride everywhere until a tall veiled female in flowing
white robes (Bardolph) falls into his arms; on the other side Anna
appears with Fenton. Both couples are wedded, and only when they
unveil, the mistake is discovered. With bitter shame the men see how
they have all been duped by some merry and clever women, but they have
to make the best of a bad case, and so Ford grants his benediction to
the happy lovers, and embraces his wife, only too glad to find her true
and faithful.





Next: Fidelio

Previous: Euryanthe



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