Giuseppe Verdi

Falstaff

Upcoming Performances

Friday

Feb 22 at 8 PM

Wednesday

Feb 27 at 8 PM

Saturday

Mar 2 at 8 PM

Tuesday

Mar 5 at 7:30 PM

Friday

Mar 8 at 8 PM

Overview

Baritone Ambrogio Maestri brings his larger-than-life portrayal of the title role back for the first time since his Met role debut in the 2013 – 14 season. Robert Carsen’s insightful production—which moves the action to postwar England in the 1950s—features an exceptional cast that includes soprano Ailyn Pérez as Alice Ford and soprano Golda Schultz as Nannetta.

Production a gift of the Betsy and Ed Cohen / Areté Foundation Fund for 
New Productions & Revivals, and Harry and Misook Doolittle

Additional funding from The Gilbert S. Kahn & John J. Noffo Kahn Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. William R. Miller

A co-production of the Metropolitan Opera; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London; Teatro alla Scala, Milan; the Canadian Opera Company, Toronto; and De Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam

Languages

Languages sung in Falstaff

Sung In

Italian

Titles

Title languages displayed for Falstaff

Met Titles In

  • English
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Italian

Timeline

Timeline for the show, Falstaff

Estimated Run Time

2 hrs 36 mins

  • House Opens

  • Acts I & II

    84 mins

  • Intermission

    30 mins

  • Act III

    42 mins

  • Opera Ends

World Premiere: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 1893. A deeply human comedy full of humor and genuine emotion, Verdi’s last opera is a splendid finale to an unparalleled career in the theater. The story is an amalgamation of scenes from Shakespeare, primarily drawn from the comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor. It centers on the remarkable personality of Sir John Falstaff, one of literature’s most compelling characters. With a supremely well-crafted score, which has long commanded the respect even of Verdi’s critics, it is an astounding work and among the greatest operatic comedies of all time.

Photos & Videos

Creators

In a remarkable career spanning six decades, Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) composed 28 operas, at least half of which are at the core of today’s repertoire. Falstaff was his final work for the stage. The remarkable librettist Arrigo Boito (1842–1918) was also a composer (his opera Mefistofele, based on Goethe’s Faust, premiered in 1868), as well as a journalist and critic.

PRODUCTION

Robert Carsen

SET DESIGNER

Paul Steinberg

COSTUME DESIGNER

Brigitte Reiffenstuel

LIGHTING DESIGNERS

Robert Carsen, Peter Van Praet

REVIVAL STAGE DIRECTOR

Gina Lapinski

Headshot of Giuseppe Verdi

Composer

Giuseppe Verdi

Setting

The opera is set in and around the town of Windsor, west of London, in the first decades of the 15th century. The current Met production places the action in mid-20th century England, after the Second World War—an era when long-established social norms were rapidly changing and the aristocracy lost much of their wealth and influence.

Music

Falstaff marks a stylistic departure for Verdi and occupies a category of its own, without parallels in the history of the genre. The musical ideas come fast and abundantly, moving from one to the next organically and without discernible breaks. The orchestra carries the story and occasionally makes literal comments on the action. At other times, it represents the overall spirit of the proceedings, such as in the remarkable prelude to Act III, which contains all the sweeping crescendo of a Rossini overture in less than a minute.