Verdi had fallen in love with Shakespeare’s FALLSTAFF, the wise and amusing clown, the drunkard who can laugh at himself and is well aware that everything in this world is fun - though not always good fun. He had enchanted Verdi. At the age of 80 Verdi had achieved the wisdom of old age and looked back on a long life full of joy and pain. Sometimes the talk was of a comic opera, perhaps something like a Don Quichote but Verdi had always ignored suggestions of that sort. Then, on a journey to Milan, he and Boito discussed the idea behind FALSTAFF, back in Montecatini, Verdi received Boito’s draft libretto. Verdi was delighted. Although Peter Stein resisted for many years to direct musical theatre, it apparently was the outstanding success of his Othello for the Welsh National Opera and his experience of excellent ensemble work with that company which motivated him to return to Cardiff, this time to stage Verdi’s final opera: FALSTAFF.
Donald Maxwell, Laurence Dale, David Malis, Peter Bronder, John Harris, Geoffrey Moses, suzanne Murphy, Nucia Focile, Wendy Verc