Topping Shakespeare

In Falstaff, Verdi and Boito created a richer, fuller character than Shakespeare's rascally Sir John. GARRY WILLS compares the opera and the plays.

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Geraint Evans, as Verdi's Falstaff at the Met, 1972
© Beth Bergman 2013
Everyone knows that Verdi stunned the world with a surge of youthful creativity in his eightieth year, matching Arrigo Boito's verbal fizz with the musical inventiveness of Falstaff. But the truly mir...

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