Opera Explained: Verdi’s Falstaff (Audiobook CD)

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Description

Opera Explained: Verdi’s Falstaff (Audiobook CD)

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Author: Thomson Smillie
Narrator: David Timson
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Naxos
CD Release Date: November 1, 2004
Run Time: 78 minutes

Verdi’s Falstaff repays careful study with real pleasure. It is opera’s happiest irony that the great Italian master should cap a career – distinguished for its blood-and-thunder tragic masterpieces – with the greatest comic opera in the Italian repertory. The genius of Shakespeare is harnessed (in a miracle of compression) by master librettist Boito to give the 80-year-old Verdi a wonderful libretto, on which he lavished more superb tunes than most composers manage in a lifetime. Falstaff is the last great Italian comic opera and a worthy end to the tradition.

Opera Explained
This series introduces, in words and music, the plot and background of major operas. Using the pricipal themes and arias, taken from the Naxos recording of the complete work, Thomson Smillie in informative yet entertaining, enabling the listener to get more from this remarkable art form.



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History

Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff

Verdi's final opera, and the third of his stage works to be based on a Shakespeare play, premiered at Milan’s La Scala in 1893, a triumphal success for the almost 80-year-old composer. Baritone Victor Maurel, who sang the title role, reprised his performance in the opera’s U.S. premiere at the Met two years later. In the 2013–14 season, Music Director James Levine conducts a new production directed by Robert Carsen, the first new Met Falstaff since 1964.

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