Verdi’s swan song was neither the first nor the last composition to be based on Shakespeare’s great comic creation. Salieri in Vienna, Nicolai in Berlin and – not surprisingly, perhaps – Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Holst and Walton in Britain, all wrote works in which Falstaff is a central character. And then there’s America and the 212th richest man in the world…
We will be concentrating mainly on Verdi but the other Falstaffs will put in guest appearances, too; the more Falstaffs the merrier, because, as the fat knight himself says:
…banish Plump Jack, and banish all the world.
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