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Falstaff
Sun, 22. May 2022, 16:00

Grandiose joie de vivre comes together with a quest for meaning—Giuseppe Verdi’s last masterpiece, written when he was nearly 80, not only breathed new life into the genre of Italian opera-comedy, but spontaneously revolutionised the genre and brought it into the 20th century. Exceptional baritone and »stage animal« Scott Hendricks returns to the Komische Oper Berlin in the title role, while audience favourite Günter Papendell makes his debut as the aggrieved husband, Ford. Faced with his precarious financial situation and convinced of his virility, Sir John Falstaff tries to woo two wealthy women—Alice Ford and Meg Page—simultaneously, with two identical love letters. Unfortunately for him, the two friends discern Falstaff’s motives and decide to teach him a lesson …

The impermanence of man has shaped Western culture: Both our search for meaning and joie de vivre originate and end in mortality. In this respect, it is both surprising and not surprising that Verdi ended his career as an opera composer with Falstaff . To this day, his second comic opera ever is a milestone of the genre, paving the way for works such as Gianni Schicchi or Der Rosenkavalier . In the hands of Verdi and his librettist Arrigo Boito, the character Falstaff, derived from Shakespeare's drama Henry IV and his comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor , embodies the contradictions of human existence: joie de vivre and melancholy, pragmatism and bravado, unbridled pleasure and philosophical musing.

Werkinfo:
Giuseppe VerdiCommedia lirica in three acts [1893]Libretto by Arrigo Boito

New production by the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence,in co-production with Komische Oper Berlin, Opéra National de Lyon and Bolshoi Theatre Moscow