• Falstaff Educator Guide

What to Expect from Falstaff?

After a series of intimate tragedies like Rigoletto and La Traviata, historical epics like Aida and Don Carlo, and dense re-imaginings of Shakespeare in Macbeth and Otello, the last thing 19th-century operagoers might have expected from Giuseppe Verdi was a rollicking, character driven comedy. Yet that’s what the composer, in his 79th year, chose for what would be his final opera. Inspired by the character of Sir John Falstaff, who appears in three of Shakespeare’s plays, Verdi and his librettist, Arrigo Boito, created a work of sophisticated musical and dramatic invention, slapstick humor, and philosophical truth.

  • Classroom Activity

    A full-length activity, designed to support your ongoing curriculum.

  • Musical Highlights

    Three "Musical Highlights" designed to focus on bits of music from Falstaff to cultivate familiarity with the work.

  • Performance Activities

    Performance Activities for students to enjoy during the Metropolitan Opera HD transmission.

  • Post-Show Discussion

    A post-transmission activity, integrating the Live in HD experience into students' wider views of the performing arts and humanities.

Falstaff at the Met

Part character study, part pure comedy, Falstaff pits the vain, aging aristocrat of the title against the good folk of middle-class Windsor. In Robert Carsen’s new Met production, the comic clash of old nobility and “new money” is transferred from the Elizabethan era to the more familiar terrain of suburban England in the years after World War II.