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A comic opera

Libretto Arrigo Boito

Music by Giuseppe Verdi

What could possibly go wrong when an over-the-hill bon vivant solicits two married ladies - Plenty!

Sung in Italian with projected translations.

University Opera Theatre & University Symphony Orchestra

November 10 - 13, 2011Power Center


The Story: Down on his luck and eager to refill his purse, Sir John Falstaff devises a scheme to solve his financial woes. What could possibly go wrong when the oh-so-clever bon vivant sends identical love letters to two married ladies? Plenty, as the would-be libertine discovers when the merry wives of Windsor unite in mischief to avenge his impertinence. Add a couple of rash, jealous husbands into the mix along with two sweet young lovers and calamity ensues. The opera is filled with boisterous pranks and clever parody all the way until Falstaff gets his comeuppance – or does he get the last laugh?

Background: Giuseppe Verdi loved Shakespeare, especially the jovial character Sir John Falstaff. Verdi could not resist Arrigo Boito’s expert libretto combining The Merry Wives of Windsor with elements from Henry IV in a work that celebrates the larger-than-life character. This operatic masterpiece aptly captures the delicacy and wit of Shakespeare’s comedy. The opera skillfully melds words and music into a seamless whole, one of the few, true music-dramas. Falstaff is Verdi at the peak of his musical prowess, filled with razor-sharp ensembles, lilting arias, and the lyric beauty of tender love. An ensemble tour-de-force, Verdi’s operatic swansong sparkles with wit and originality.


Artistic Staff

Director Joshua Major
Conductor Oriol Sans
Scenic Designer Vincent Mountain
Costume Designer Jeff Bauer
Lighting Designer Andrew Lott
Sound Designer Roger Arnett
Wig/Makeup Designer Erin Kennedy Lunsford
Stage Manager

Brett Finley


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Click here to view photos from Falstaff


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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower