The GNO presents a new production of Verdi’s Falstaff, conducted by Pier Giorgio Morandi and directed by the acclaimed director, and Artistic Director of the UK’s renowned Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Stephen Langridge. This production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the GNO’s artistic outreach.

Verdi surprised everyone with his final opera, Falstaff, as not many believed the then 80-year-old composer had another major work in him (and a comedy at that!) following the huge success of his Otello (1887). And yet Falstaff, first presented at La Scala in Milan on 9 February 1893, proved a brilliant conclusion to his career as an opera composer. Following his adaptation of the plays Macbeth and Othello, Verdi turned to Shakespeare one final time and picked out a comedy: The Merry Wives of Windsor. Central to the action is the washed-up old knight Sir John Falstaff, whose romantic misadventures make him a laughingstock in the provincial society of his small town. In the end, after a series of tragicomic situations have unfolded, all the work’s characters sing the following refrain together: “All the world’s a jest… but whoever laughs last, laughs best.” The opera has justly been called a masterpiece of the genre for its expressive economy and concise form - for its composer’s ability to encapsulate entire characters and situations with a single musical phrase.

Conductor: Pier Giorgio Morandi
Director: Stephen Langridge
With the Orchestra, Chorus, Children’s Chorus, and Soloists of the Greek National Opera

Related Events