Although it contains elements of tragic heroism, typical of Verdi’s operas, it is comedy that is very much to the fore in Falstaff. No aria di bravura is to be found, as would be the case in Bellini's or Puccini's works. In Falstaff, Verdi uses the music to simply hold the storyline together.
Drawing inspiration from Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, Falstaff is a shallow, vain and pitiful character, not a hero. It is the women in the story who are the true heroes. They trick the lustful Fasltaff and Mrs Quickly best expresses the moral of the story: women are cunning as a fox!
Antoni Ros-Marbà, Willy Decker – Giorgio Giuseppini (Lodovico), José Cura (Otello), Vittorio Grigolo (Cassio) – Gran Teatre del Liceu
Antonio Pappano, Nicholas Hytner – Rolando Villazón (Don Carlos), Robert Lloyd (Carlos V), Simon Keenlyside (Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa) – Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Miguel Ángel Gómez Martínez, José Antonio Gutiérrez – Daniela Dessì (Aïda), Fabio Armiliato (Radamès) – Gran Teatre del Liceu