Columns linked to Ainhoa Arteta

Falstaff at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Sam Smith

Verdi’s final opera Falstaff premiered in 1893 as the composer was approaching his eightieth birthday. With the exception of the ill-fated Un giorno di regno, it is the only comedy that he ever wrote, but its obvious hilarity should not detract from its musical and emotional intelligence. It almost requires more skill to write a piece that maintains a cracking pace throughout, and hence sees recitative and aria virtually merge into one, than it does to compose the most soulful,...