FALSTAFF Student Guide | Opera Company of Philadelphia

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Giuseppe Verdi’s

Falstaff and The School District of Philadelphia

Season Sponsor

Written and produced by:

Special thanks to:

Opera Company of Philadelphia Education Department Š2007

Dr. Dennis W. Creedon

1420 Locust Street, Suite 210 Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A. 19102 Tel: (215) 893-3600, ext. 246 Fax: (215) 893-7801 www.operaphilly.org/education Michael Bolton Community Programs Manager bolton@operaphilly.com

Barbara Mills Volunteer Opera Company of Philadelphia

Ryan Bunch Volunteer Opera Company of Philadelphia

Creator, Sounds of Learning TM Curriculum Consultant

Dori Baggs Taylor Baggs Julie-Ann Whitely Richard St. Clair The Teachers of Our Children EMI Records Academy of Music Ushers Maureen Lynch Operations Manager Academy of Music

Shannon Walsh Assistant Operations Manager Academy of Music

Greg Buch Production Manager Academy of Music

Cornell Wood Head Usher Academy of Music

R. A. Friedman The Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Free Library of Philadelphia Print and Picture Department Debra Malinics Advertising Design

A Family Guide to Pennsylvania’s standards in education call for students to show what they know and are able to do. As every parent knows, children need to share what they have discovered or learned. Thus, the title of our program is Sounds of Learning™. It reflects our belief that children must be actively engaged in sharing ideas, which reflects the collaborative learning that has been called for by the U.S. Department of Labor. For the future success of our research and development teams, today’s students must learn to work collaboratively using creative problem-solving techniques. This was further highlighted by Professor Richard Florida of Carnegie Mellon University. He noted that 30% of the U.S. work force is directly involved with some level of creative engagements in their work. His June 2002 book, The Rise of the Creative Class, was published by Basic Books. His work supported the U.S. Governors report that was released in spring of 2002. This report called for arts education in all schools since it has been directly tied to the economic development of urban areas. With the Sounds of Learning™ program we strive to support the creative needs of our youth while we also support the core literacy goals of our community. This book will integrate with the local core curriculum in literacy in many ways. Just as opera is a uniquely integrated art, combining orchestra, voice, literature, drama, and dance, the Sounds of Learning™ program is an interdisciplinary and student-centered program. The goal of Active Learning is to have your children engaged in the process of self-teaching. They will be able to show how they have gained insights into their learning by drawing, writing, charting, and discussing the issues most relevant to them. In this way, students demonstrate what they can do with what they know. We believe the family is the most important foundation to learning. Let your kitchen table become a classroom where your children can build their knowledge of opera and the humanities. As you join in the teaching and learning process with your children, watch their eyes sparkle. Opera is a communal celebration, so too should be your children’s education. In reading the libretto, we suggest that your family members take turns reading particular roles. This adds a dimension of fun to the reading of this great literature. Recent research by Dr. Ellen Winner of Harvard’s Project Zero found that “drama helps to build verbal skills that transfer to new materials.” She found that acting out texts helps students in “reading readiness and achievement” and “oral and written language development.” (Journal of Aesthetic Education, v34, #3/4, Fall/Winter, 2000.) In preparing for the opera, we suggest you purchase one of EMI’s excellent recordings of this opera. We are grateful to EMI for offering us their libretti for use in our program. Together, we hope to build future audiences for, and performers of, the arts.

Best Practices in Arts Education is sponsored by Pennsylvania Alliance for Arts Education, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Table of

Contents Opera 101: Getting Ready for the Opera 4 6 8 9 10

A Brief History of Western Opera Philadelphia’s Academy of Music Broad Street: Avenue of the Arts Opera Etiquette 101 Why I Like Opera by Taylor Baggs

Relating Opera to History: The Culture Connection 11 12 13 14 16 18

Giuseppe Verdi: Hero of Italy Verdi Timeline Make Your Own Timeline Game: Falstaff Crossword Puzzle Bard of Stratford – William Shakespeare All the World’s a Stage: The Globe Theatre

Falstaff: Libretto and Production Information 20 22 23 24

Falstaff Synopsis Meet the Artists Introducing Soprano Christine Goerke Falstaff LIBRETTO

Behind the Scenes: Careers in the Arts 65 66 68 70 71

Game: Connect the Opera Terms So You Want to Sing Like an Opera Singer! The Highs and Lows of the Operatic Voice Life in the Opera Chorus: Julie-Ann Whitely The Subtle Art of Costume Design

72 73 74

Conflicts and Loves in Falstaff Review of Philadelphia’s First Falstaff 2006-2007 Season Subscriptions




State Standards


State Standards Met


A Brief History of


Western Opera Theatrical performances that use music, song and dance to tell a story can be found in many cultures. Opera is just one example of music drama. In its 400-year history opera has been shaped by the times in which it was created and tells us much about those who participated in the art form as writers, composers, performers, and audience members. The first works to be called “operas” were created in Italy at the end of the sixteenth century. They were inspired by a group of intellectuals known as the Camerata who admired the culture of the ancient Greeks. They proposed the invention of a new style of music theater that would imitate Greek drama’s use of music. The result was a series of operas based on Greek myths, starting with Dafne by Jacopo Peri in 1598. The most famous work of this early period is Claudio Monteverdi’s Orfeo (1607), based on the myth of Orpheus. These early operas had all the basic elements that we associate with opera today: songs, instrumental accompaniments, dance, costumes, and scenery. These early operas were performed in the courts of Italian noblemen, but soon opera became popular with the general public. Europe had a growing middle class with a taste for spectacular entertainment. During the Baroque period (1600 1750), the Italian style of opera was so popular that it became the preferred form even in foreign countries. George Frideric Handel was a Germanborn composer who lived and worked in England, but his operas such as Julius Caesar (1724) were in the Italian language and in the Italian style. The only nation to develop a national tradition to rival the Italian was France, where operas often included ballets. Jean-Baptiste Lully and Jean-Philippe Rameau are the most famous French Baroque opera composers.

Music was changing, too. Composers abandoned the ornate Baroque style of music and began Claudio Monteverdi to write less complicated music 1567-1643 that expressed the character’s thoughts and feelings more believably. One of the first operas to use this new style was Cristoph Willibald Gluck’s Orpheus and Euridice (1762). With the new democratic sentiments came interest in operas about common people in familiar settings, rather than stories from ancient mythology. A good example is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (1786), in which a servant outsmarts a count. Several of Mozart’s operas remain among the most popular today, including Figaro, Don Giovanni (1788), Così fan tutte (1790), and The Magic Flute (1791). In the nineteenth century operas continued to grow more diverse in their forms and national styles. The Italian tradition continued in the bel canto movement. Operas written in this style, which means “beautiful singing,” included arias with intricate ornamentation, or combinations of fast notes, in the melodies. The most famous composers of bel canto are Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti and Gioacchino Rossini, whose The Barber of Seville (1816) is one of the most beloved comic operas. Later in the century the Romantic Movement grew throughout Europe as operas celebrated national pride in a country’s people, history and folklore. Among the operas that showed the growth of patriotic traditions are Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz (Germany, 1821), Mikhail Glinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmilla (Russia, 1842) and Georges Bizet’s Carmen (France, 1875). In Italy Giuseppe

By the middle of the eighteenth century the European middle class was more influential than ever. People spoke of new forms of government and organization in society. Soon the American and French Revolutions (1776 and 1789) fought to establish the first modern democracies.

Bass Kevin Glavin gets a close shave from baritone Roberto DeCandia in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.

Verdi composed in a bold, direct style. In Germany Richard Wagner took the Romantic style to the extreme in an ambitious series of four operas based on Norse mythology known collectively as The Ring of the Nibelungs (1876). In the twentieth century opera became more experimental. Some composers such as Giacomo Puccini (La bohème, 1896), Claude Debussy (Pélleas and Mélisande, 1902), Richard Strauss (Salome, 1905), and Benjamin Britten (Peter Grimes, 1945) continued their nationalistic styles. Others, horrified by the destructive effects of World War I (1914-1919) and modern life, created radically experimental and dissonant works that explored topics that were disturbing (Wozzeck by Alban Berg, 1925) or absurdist (The Rake’s Progress by Igor Stravinsky, 1951). American opera came into its own in this century, beginning with George Gershwin’s jazz-influenced opera Porgy and Bess (1935). In the latter part of the century a repetitive and hypnotic style known as minimalism was championed in Phillip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach (1976). The late twentieth century even saw a return to some of the traits of Romantic opera in works such as John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles (1991). Today, opera is a living art form in which both new works and those by composers of the past continue to be performed. It remains to be seen what the future of opera will be, but if history is any indication, it will be shaped by the creativity of librettists, composers and other artists responding to the changing times in which they live.

World Premiere of Falstaff The world premiere of Verdi’s Falstaff was at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy on February 9, 1893. The fact that Verdi produced such a masterpiece is considered even more unbelievable because of his advanced age at the time of composition. Verdi was almost eighty years old. The opera’s success was so great that the King of Italy sent Verdi a telegram and invited him to the Palazzo del Quirinale (Royal Quirinale Palace), the official royal residence, for the opera’s Rome premiere. This opera was a true labor of love for Verdi. During most of his career, he composed serious operas with great arias and large scenes. This time was to be different. In this opera he focused on smaller details to penetrate his characters’ emotions rather than the massive dramatic effects that he used in his many tragedies. With this comedy, only the second that he ever wrote, Verdi composed to entertain himself and enjoyed every aspect of it. Without any question, his Falstaff is one of the great masterpieces of comic opera.


Renowned baritone Victor Maurel as Verdi’s and Philadelphia’s first Falstaff.

Verdi’s Falstaff had its first performance in Philadelphia at the Academy of Music on Thursday afternoon, February 7, 1895. This was just three days after the American premiere in New York and was almost exactly two years from the date of its world premiere. It was totally sold-out at the Academy. The performance was given by the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The role of Falstaff was played by Victor Maurel who had created the role in the first productions in Italy. He was considered a perfect performer for the role and traveled with the production to the premieres in Paris, London, New York, and Philadelphia. He was able to bring out each detail of the character’s innate vulgarity without ever rendering him offensive. (See review on page 73.) While Falstaff was considered a great success by those in attendance, they counted themselves lucky for another reason besides the possession of the prized ticket. That evening a second opera was scheduled at the Academy and it was to have an unexpected ending. While the day had stared as any normal winter day, as it wore on, a cold snap came down from the north that sent temperatures falling below zero, and with the wind came the snows. In spite of the falling snow, the Academy was again packed. Some audience members realized that the storm did not seem normal and they left at the intermissions. Those who stayed to the final curtain at 12:30 AM struggled to leave the Academy and, as they did, they entered a city in the grips of the great blizzard of 1895. Waist-high snow drifts covered Broad Street and fifteen-foot-high drifts blocked trains throughout the region. It was truly a day and night of opera for the history books.



Academy of Music

Few Philadelphians know that the great Academy of Music was dedicated to the memory of Mozart. As the guests enter the Opera House’s main hall, there above the proscenium arch, over the Academy stage, a bas-relief of Mozart looks down upon the audience. This place of prominence for Mozart indicates that the builders of the Academy expected to attract the finest performing arts known to the world. However, building this Opera House was not an easy task for the young country. Between 1837 and 1852 there were five attempts to raise the funds needed to build an Opera House within the city limits of Philadelphia. After Commissioners were appointed by an act of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Charles Henry Fisher began to sell stock in the Academy of Music on May 24, 1852. On October 13, 1854, the land on the southwest corner of Broad and Locust Streets was purchased. At that time, the area was undeveloped. (The Old State House, now known as Independence Hall, was the heart of the city at that time.)

The Commissioners held a competition to select the design of the Academy. Fifteen architects submitted designs between October 3 and December 15 of 1854. The winners were announced on February 12, 1855. Gustav Rungé and Napoleon le Brun won the $400 prize. It was their idea to dedicate the Academy to Mozart’s memory. Within four months the ground-breaking took place. This project was so important that President Franklin Pierce, along with Governor James Pollock and Mayor Robert T. Conrad, laid the cornerstone on July 26, 1855. On January 26, 1857, the Academy held the Grand Ball and Promenade Concert of its opening. The first opera presented in the brand new opera house was Verdi’s Il trovatore on February 25, 1857. Gounod’s opera Faust had its American premiere here on November 18, 1863. On February 14, 1907, Madama Butterfly premiered to “emphatic success” with its composer, Giacomo Puccini, in attendance. On May 14,1897, John Philip Sousa’s composition “The Stars and Stripes Forever” was premiered on the Academy stage. On March 29 and April 5, 1900, Fritz Scheel conducted two serious concerts of professional musicians. These two concerts are considered the genesis of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Today the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Ballet call the Academy home. Numerous presidents have visited the Academy, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Richard Nixon. The Academy has had many world-famous performers on its stage: Peter Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Anna Pavlova, George Gershwin, Arturo Toscanini, Marian Anderson, Maria Callas, Leontyne Price, Luciano Pavarotti, and thousands more

A wood engraving from the Academy Proscenium Box in 1857. Historic images of the Academy courtesy of The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

The Academy was made a Registered National Historic Landmark in 1963. Since then, a few changes have been made to the structure. In 1996 the “Twenty-First Century Project” began, which allowed for a new rigging system, replacement of the stage floor, and cleaning and restoration of the historic ceiling. With Mozart’s image looking down on the Academy’s audiences from his position above the stage for over one hundred years, let the joy of opera and dance continue forever.


Academy Facts 2 Built in 1857, The Academy of Music is the oldest grand opera house in the United States used for its initial purpose.

2 In 1963, The Academy was honored as a National

Historic Landmark. As a National Historic Landmark, live flame can never be produced on the stage.

2 The auditorium seats 2,897; 14 columns support the Academy’s tiers; and the auditorium is encased within a three foot-thick solid brick wall.

2 The Academy of Music chandelier is 50 feet in

circumference, 16 feet in diameter, and 5,000 pounds in weight. It is lowered once a year for cleaning. It used to take four hours and 12 men to hand lower the chandelier. Now it takes five minutes, thanks to an electric-powered winch.

2 In the 1800’s, an artificial floor was placed over

the Parquet level seats for balls, political conventions, gymnastic and ice skating expositions, carnivals, parades, and other events. You’ll see a wooden guide along the edge of the Parquet wall that helped support the floor.

2 The first-ever indoor football game was held on

the Academy’s Parquet level on March 7, 1889 between University of Pennsylvania and Riverton Club of Princeton. At halftime, tug-of-war matches were held as entertainment.

2 A motion picture was first screened at the Academy

curtain simulates that of a pineapple, a Victorian-era symbol for “welcome.”

on February 5, 1870. The silent movie consisted of an oratory, an acrobatic performance by a popular Japanese gymnast, and a waltz danced by the presenter, Henry H. Heyl and his sister. 1,600 people attended.

2 The Academy of Music has an expandable orchestra

2 There were talks underway to turn the Academy of

2 The red and gold pattern on the Academy’s stage

pit to accommodate works with larger orchestral requirements. The first two rows of seats on the Parquet level are on a platform which can be removed to enlarge the pit. The decorative brass and wooden orchestra pit railing can also be moved to ornament the expanded pit as well.

Music into a movie theater in 1920.

2 Starting in 1884, electricity was used to light the

large chandelier (originally lit by 240 gas burners), the auditorium, and stage lights. New regenerative gas lights were placed along the exterior walls on both Broad and Locust streets.

2 Incandescent electric lighting was introduced to the foyer and balcony in 1892.

2 Air conditioning was installed in the theatre 1959. 2 There was no elevator for the general public in the Academy until 1990!

For more information on the Academy of Music, go to the library and take out Within These Walls, by John Francis Marion or go online to www.academyofmusic.org.

Broad Street:


Avenue of the Arts

Here is part of a map of Center City. This area, which includes Broad Street south of City Hall, is the home of many famous theaters, museums, hotels, restaurants and cultural centers. Here are some descriptions of the attractions around the Academy of Music. See if you can match them to the lettered flags on the map.

_____ The Kimmel Center Dance, orchestra, chamber and folk music

_____ Prince Music Theater Contemporary music, musicals and blues

_____ Merriam Theater Theater and broadway musicals

_____ University of the Arts Art and Design School

_____ Wilma Theater Modern theater and musicals

_____ Ritz Carlton Hotel World famous 5-star hotel and restaurant


The Academy of Music is marked on this map with a picture. What is its address? _______________________________________


How many blocks is it from City Hall to the Academy?



All but one of the East to West streets on this map have names that have something in common? What is it? _______________________________________

For more information about this exciting part of the city, visit: www.avenueofthearts.org/visit.htm.

4. You and your friends are planning a night on the town. You will hear a lecture about famous artists, see the Broadway musical The Lion King and scout celebrities at a fancy restaurant. Where do you go? _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________

Opera Etiquette101 Attending the Opera There’s nothing quite as exciting as attending the opera in a beautiful theater like the Academy of Music! If this is your first time at the opera there are a few things for which you should prepare: You will be attending the final dress rehearsal for this opera. This is the last opportunity that the artists will have to rehearse the entire opera before opening night just a few nights away. The goal is to treat this rehearsal exactly like a performance and perform the entire opera straight through without a pause. You may notice in the center of the Parquet level, the floor level of the Academy, several computer monitors and a large table spread out over the seats. Seated in this area is the production team: Director, Assistant Director, Costume Designer, Lighting Designer, Set Designer, and other members of the production team. They’ll be taking notes and communicating via headset with the myriad people backstage who help make all of the operatic magic happen: Stage Manager, Master Carpenter, lighting technicians, Supertitle Operator, Stagehands and more. They’ll be able to give notes so changes can be instantly made. Should things go awry, they may stop and repeat a section to make sure that it is perfect.

Opera Etiquette Because this is a working rehearsal, we ask that you please refrain from talking. The production team needs to concentrate on fine-tuning the production. You can show them how much you appreciate their work and the opportunity to come to the rehearsal at no charge by being as quiet as possible. Have you ever tried to study for a test and there’s just too much noise at home or outside? It’s almost impossible to concentrate! So, please refrain from talking out of respect for the cast, musicians, and the entire production team.

The Holland Homeschool is prepared for the Sounds of Learning™ Dress Rehearsal of La bohème.

Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts so that everyone in the theater can enjoy the opera:

Please Do... Applaud after the arias; you can shout “Bravo!” for the men and “Brava!” for the women. Enter and exit the theater in an orderly fashion. Please use the bathrooms before the rehearsal begins or at intermission. Be careful in the auditorium! Because the theatre is 150 years old, it’s not necessarily designed for modern conveniences. Turn off your cell phones and all electronic devices. Enjoy the rehearsal. You’ve worked too hard learning this not to!

Don’t Forget... Food and beverages are not allowed inside the Academy of Music. Photographs may not be taken during the performance. Please no talking during the performances.



Why I Like Opera Opera is Not Just For Adults By Taylor Baggs, 12th grade Homeschool, Philadelphia, PA I was in 7th grade when I first saw an opera with the Sounds of Learning™ program as part of my homeschooling curriculum. My Mom made me go! I thought it would be seriously boring for I had considered opera something only for adults and not for kids like me. The first opera I saw was La Perichole. That opera was hilarious! I loved it! I remembered I actually wanted to go to see it again! After that I decided that opera wasn’t that bad. Over the next years of homeschooling, I went to many operas with the Sounds of Learning™ program. My mom didn’t have to make me go anymore, I wanted to go. The operas were all different. There was drama, comedy, tragedy and romance. These are my favorites of the operas I’ve seen: Così Fan Tutte, Il trovatore, The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, A Masked Ball, and The Barber of Seville. The opera Il trovatore was my favorite for its live action. The opera A Masked Ball was also interesting. One of the surprises in that opera was the ending. The murder weapon ended up being not a knife, as was written in the student booklet, but a pistol! I remember everyone in the audience jumped when that was fired. The Barber of Seville was my second favorite comedy. I now like to listen to classical music, something I used to hate. Being exposed to classical music at the opera gave me an appreciation for it. I would say to other kids like me…give opera a try. It may sound boring at first, but they are awesome! Every opera I saw was entertaining. I know going to see the opera is something I will do even after I graduate from high school this year.

Taylor and his classmates pose for a picture outside the Academy of Music before Rossini’s Cinderella.

Giuseppe Verdi:

Hero of Italy Giuseppe Verdi was born into the dangerous period of the Napoleonic Wars at Le Roncole near Busseto on October 10, 1813. His parents were Carlo Verdi and Luigia Uttini Verdi. Verdi’s love of music was evident from his earliest years. One of his greatest joys was listening to the old organ in the church just a few steps from his home. After begging his father for lessons, Verdi finally got his way in 1821 when his father bought him an old spinet. Verdi’s father hoped his son would become a country band leader so he arranged for him to study under the church organist. Four years later, at the age of twelve, young Verdi became the church organist when his teacher took another post. Carlo Verdi recognized his son’s gift and arranged for him to study in the nearby town of Busseto. His friend, Antonio Barezzi, who was a successful shopkeeper and amateur musician, agreed to put the young Verdi up in his home. It was in this town that Giuseppe met the director of the music school who put him to work copying the orchestral parts for the scores of Haydn and Rossini. Verdi advanced in his understanding of the classics quickly enough for the director of the school to allow him to take the podium of the local orchestra. Barezzi was so impressed with Verdi’s gifts that he helped arrange for Verdi to receive a scholarship to continue his studies in Milan. However, Verdi was now over eighteen, and the judges did not care for his simple country dress. As a result they refused to accept him into the school. The director of La Scala told him not to give up and encouraged him to study under Maestro Vincenzo Lavigna. Under his new teacher’s tutelage, Verdi studied the works of Mozart and Beethoven. At twenty-one, Verdi was attending a rehearsal of Haydn’s Creation when the conductor became ill. Verdi was asked to continue. He sat at the piano and played with one hand while conducting with the other. The musicians were so impressed with his talent that he was given the responsibility to conduct the performances before Milan’s society. This success launched his career. On May 4, 1836, Verdi married his benefactor’s daughter, Margherita Barezzi. On November 17, 1839, his first opera, Oberto, premiered at La Scala and was a moderate success. The next few years, however, were times of deep sadness. Verdi’s two children died before either reached the age of three, and then Margherita died in June 1840, a few months after the second child.


Giuseppe Verdi

Verdi returned to Milan and composed the comic opera for which he had signed a contract prior to his wife’s death. This opera was a complete failure due partly to the extreme grief with which Verdi struggled while composing it. Deeply depressed and finding it hard to concentrate on his work, Verdi was almost impoverished. He could only afford to eat one meal a day. One day, while leaving a tavern, he bumped into Bartolomeo Merelli, the opera house director who had supported Verdi’s earlier work. He asked Verdi to compose another opera. From this accidental meeting, the great opera Nabucco was born. The night the opera was premiered, March 9, 1842 in La Scala, the audience cheered Verdi, who still could not smile. Over the years, Verdi composed masterpiece after masterpiece. Some of his operas had a political nature and the censors were always checking his work. Verdi believed in republican ideals and thought of George Washington as his personal hero. His music often contained political overtones. The song, “Va Pensiero” (Go Thought) from Nabucco became the revolutionary hymn of Italy. It still inspires us today. Verdi always remembered and loved his simple country heritage. He never forgot those less fortunate than himself. He supported other struggling artists financially, and upon his death willed all the royalties of his operas to support a home in Milan for aged opera singers. This nursing home exists to this day. Verdi was more than an artist, he embodied the heart and soul of Italy.

Verdi Timeline


1813 1821 1825 1828

Born on October 10 in Le Roncole, a small village near Busseto, Italy, 1st son of Carlo and Luigia. His father buys him a broken-down spinet, initiating Verdi’s 1st musical studies. At 12 years old, Verdi becomes the village organist at Le Roncole. At a performance of The Barber of Seville in Busseto, Rossini’s overture was replaced by an opening symphony composed by Verdi.


Travels to Milan to attend the Conservatory but is not accepted. Begins to study independently with Maestro Vincenzo Lavigna.

1836 1839

Verdi marries Margherita Barezzi, the daughter of his benefactor. Meets famous singer Giuseppina Strepponi in Milan. Successful opening of Oberto at La Scala in November.

1840 1842 1843-51 1848 1851 1851-62 1859 1861 1863-71 1867 1871 1873 1874 1880 1881 1887 1893 1896 1897 1898 1901

Death of his wife, shortly after the death of his two small children. March 9, triumph of Nabucco at La Scala. Writes and produces thirteen operas, among them: I Lombardi alla prima Crociata, I due Foscari, and Macbeth. Verdi acquires near Busseto the estate of Sant’Agata, a vast property rich in woods, vineyards and water, which from then on becomes his refuge and the place where he draws new inspiration and enjoys the quiet of nature. Verdi’s mother dies. He composes Rigoletto, Il trovatore, La traviata, I vespri siciliani, Simon Boccanegra, A Masked Ball, and La forza del destino. Verdi marries Giuseppina Strepponi, his loving and competent companion, secretary and faithful advisor. Verdi elected to Parliament under the Liberal Party. During these years Verdi composes Don Carlos, and revises and reworks several of his previous works. In this year Verdi loses his father and his benefactor Barezzi. Triumphant debut of Aida in Cairo, Egypt. Verdi composes Quartet for Strings. First performance of the Requiem mass, which many people consider the most beautiful religious music of its time. Composers “Pater noster” and “Ave Maria.” Reworks Simon Boccanegra with libretto revised by Arrigo Boito. Verdi’s masterpiece Otello is premiered. Falstaff is presented in Milan. Deposits the funds to erect in Milan a rest home for those who had devoted their lives to music. He wills the royalties to all his operas to the Casa di Riposo, which to this day still welcomes aging singers and musicians. Verdi’s second wife, Giuseppina Strepponi, dies on November 14. Quatro Pezzi Sacri and Te Deum are performed in Paris during Holy Week. After spending a pleasant Christmas with his dearest friends, Verdi dies in Milan, on January 27.

Make Your Own

Timeline American Presidents 1809-1817 . . . . . . . . . . . . .James Madison 1817-1825 . . . . . . . . . . . . .James Monroe 1825-1829 . . . . . . . . . . . . .John Q. Adams 1829-1837 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Andrew Jackson 1837-1841 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Martin Van Buren 1841 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .William Harrison* 1841-1845 . . . . . . . . . . . . .John Tyler 1845-1849 . . . . . . . . . . . . .James K. Polk 1849-1850 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Zachary Taylor* 1850-1853 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Millard Fillmore 1853-1857 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Franklin Pierce 1857-1861 . . . . . . . . . . . . .James Buchanan 1861-1865 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Abraham Lincoln† 1865-1869 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Andrew Johnson 1869-1877 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ulysses S. Grant 1877-1881 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Rutherford Hayes 1881 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .James Garfield† 1881-1885 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Chester Arthur 1885-1889 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Grover Cleveland 1889-1893 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Benjamin Harrison 1893-1897 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Grover Cleveland 1897-1901 . . . . . . . . . . . . .William McKinley *Died in office †Assassinated in office

European Leaders 1804-1814 1825-1855 1830-1848 1837-1901 1848-1916

. . . . . . . . . . . . .Napolean (Fr.) . . . . . . . . . . . . .Nicholas I (Russ.) . . . . . . . . . . . . .Louis Philippe (Fr.) . . . . . . . . . . . . .Queen Victoria (Gr. Brit) . . . . . . . . . . . . .Franz Josef (Aus./Hngry)

Other Classical Composers 1770-1827 1813-1883 1833-1897 1840-1893

. . . . . . . . . . . . .Ludwig Van Beethoven (Ger.) . . . . . . . . . . . . .Richard Wagner (Ger.) . . . . . . . . . . . . .Johannes Brahms (Ger.) . . . . . . . . . . . . .Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Russ.)


Inventions Bicycle 1816 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Karl von Sauberbronn (Ger.) Camera 1822 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Joseph Niepce (Fr.) Telegraph 1837 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Samuel F. B. Morse (U.S.) Typewriter 1867 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Christopher Sholes (U.S.) Telephone 1876 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Alexander Graham Bell (U.S.) Radio 1895 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Guglielmo Marconi (It.) Airplane 1903 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Wilbur and Orville Wright (U.S.)

Other Major Events 1824 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony 1839-1842 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Opium War 1845 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Irish Potato Famine 1848 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Year of revolutions in Europe 1849 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .California’s Gold Rush begins 1861-1865 . . . . . . . . . . . . .American Civil War 1863 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Abolition of slavery by Lincoln 1869 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .U.S. transcontinental railroad completed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Spanish-American War 1898

Active Learning Cut apart three supermarket paper bags. Cut them open down one of the side seams and cut off the bottom so that when laid flat, you have a rectangular piece of paper. Tape the bags together at the shorter ends, creating a long rectangular piece of paper. From the longer side of the bag near the top, measure in 10" and place a dot. Do the same near the bottom. Draw a straight line from the top to the bottom of the bag through both dots. From the information on this page, select the most important incidents for your timeline. With these facts, include some of the important dates in history listed above. You may also illustrate your timeline.


Crossword Puzzle










Garter Inn


The Merry Wives of Windsor





Globe Theatre



Henry IV





Verdi William Windsor





Name of river into which Falstaff is dumped.

1 The action of Falstaff takes place in this city.


Last name of Falstaff’s librettist.

2 Hern’s Oak is a tree in the _______ where Falstaff


Name of a young gentleman who is in love with Ford’s daughter.

meets the merry wives at midnight.

4 Last name of the baritone who sang the role of Falstaff in the Philadelphia and world premieres.


This character’s wife is sent an amorous letter by Falstaff.


Last name of playwright who penned Hamlet, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, and many other plays and sonnets.


Name of theatre where Shakespeare wrote and acted in plays.


Both Falstaff and Ford are sung by this voice type.


First name of esteemed playwright, considered to be the greatest writer in the English language.

12 First name of Falstaff’s composer.


Mistress Meg’s last name, or a young servant in court.

13 Other Shakespeare play in which Falstaff appears.


Alice’s daughter who is in love with Fenton.

14 This tavern is one of Falstaff’s favorite hang outs.


Falstaff was composed by Giuseppe _____.

15 ___ _______, the rest of the title that starts in 8 down.


There’s nothing like a _____ , or Quickly’s title.

16 British queen known for her love of the theatre who


Quickly has a very low female voice. She sings in this register.


Falstaff’s first name.

6 Falstaff is a ________, and bears the title Sir. 7 Both Alice and Nannetta sing in the higher female register, known as __________.

8 ___ _______ _______, the first three words of the title of one of the Shakespeare plays on which Falstaff is based, with 15 down.

11 Falstaff’s title.

ruled at the time that Shakespeare wrote plays.

18 First name of Ford’s wife.

Bard of Stratford


William Shakespeare

for fear of bad luck. To this day it is referred to as “the Scottish play.” Later, under the patronage of King James I of England, the group was given an indoor theater known as The Blackfriars. The group was then named “The King’s Men.” Shakespeare’s plays were very popular with the people of London. While it was not customary to pay much to a playwright for his work, Shakespeare was given a share of the profits from the sale of tickets. As a shareholder of the company, he became wealthy. He also took pleasure in acting in his creations. It is believed that he acted the roles of Adam in Much Ado about Nothing and the ghost of Hamlet’s father. His knowledge of stagecraft and the demands of acting gave him a great insight into the dynamics of successful drama. Shakespeare was born in this half-timbered house in Stratford-upon-Avon. British Travel Association

William Shakespeare was born the third of eight children to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden in 1564. His father was a merchant and a fine leather glove maker. His mother was from a family of land owners. As William grew, his father became an alderman and later the mayor of their town, Stratfordupon-Avon. William attended the local grammar school where he studied the comedies of Plautus and Terence and the tragedies of Seneca in Latin. It was during this time that his love of the theater was born. In 1582 William married Anne Hathaway, who was about eight years his senior. Together they had three children: Susanna, 1583, and the twins Judith and Hamnet, 1585. While there was work for William in Stratford-upon-Avon as an actor, the call of London, the capital of his craft, led him to take his family to the city in 1588. By 1594 he had established himself as both a playwright and actor and was invited to join the company “The Lord Chamberlain’s Men.”

Although he wrote thirty-eight plays, we have no manuscripts in his handwriting because he did not consider the writing of plays as literature. He would only publish them to correct errors in other editions of his works that were printed without his permission. In his day, the concept of copyright did not exist. Anyone could copy the work of another person and publish it for profit. Shakespeare authorized the publishing of only half of his work known as “quarto” editions. For the remainder of his plays, we depend upon his friends and colleagues for “folio” editions which were published several years after his death. Shakespeare’s poetry is also very highly regarded. His sonnets are regarded as a very high form of poetry and his work in this area earned him the epithet, “mellifluous and honey-tongued Shakespeare” in 1598. His classical epics, Venus and Adonis and

This group of actors performed at The Globe Theater, located on the South Bank of the Thames River in Southwark. To attend their performances, theater goers had to take the ferry across the river or travel across the London Bridge. When The Globe Theater, which had a thatched roof, burned down during a production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, it became a tradition not to mention the name of the play backstage The witches wreak havoc in The Opera Company of Philadelphia’s 2003 production of Verdi’s Macbeth.

Words, words, words: Shakespeare’s influence on the English Language When Shakespeare’s Hamlet is asked what he is reading, he responds with the famous line “Words, words, words.” Even 400 years after his death, William Shakespeare’s writings leave their mark on culture even today. Considered the greatest writer in the English language, Shakespeare’s plays are filled with quotes, phrases and even words that are used in every day conversation. Listed below are some of the famous phrases and words that Shakespeare originated. Do you recognize any of these? As You Like It • Too much of a good thing Hamlet • Neither a borrower nor a lender be • The lady doth protest too much

Portrait of William Shakespeare, Bard of Stratford.

The Rape of Lucrece are considered two of the finest pieces of writing in the English language. With his success, he returned to Stratford-upon-Avon and purchased one of the finest homes in town, New Place. Across the garden from his home, he had another home built for his daughter Susanna and her husband Dr. Hall. Whenever the plague would strike and the theaters were closed, he would return home to wait out the cycle of the disease. After writing The Tempest in 1610, he left London and retired to his country home. Six years later, the venerable “Bard of Stratford” died and was given a hero’s funeral. So great were his plays that the field of opera has hundreds of scores written to them. Berlioz wrote his Béatrice et Bénédict based upon Much Ado about Nothing. Ralph Vaughn Williams’ opera, Sir John in Love, was based upon The Merry Wives of Windsor. Verdi’s Otello and Macbeth were based upon Shakespeare’s plays of the same name and his Falstaff was based upon both King Henry IV and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet has twenty-five operas based upon it, The Tempest has forty-seven and A Midsummer Night’s Dream has forty-eight operas based upon it. Few authors can claim to have affected the culture of the world more than William Shakespeare, the “Bard of Stratford.”

Henry IV, part 2 • Eaten me out of house and home • Dead as a doornail Henry VIII • For goodness sake Julius Caesar • It was Greek to me King John • Elbow room Love's Labour's Lost • The naked truth Macbeth • Knock, knock! Who’s there? • The be-all and the end-all • Sorry sight Much Ado About Nothing • Done to death Othello • Neither here nor there • Wear my heart on my sleeve Romeo and Juliet • You kiss by the book The Merchant of Venice • Love is blind • My own flesh and blood The Merry Wives of Windsor • Laughing-stock The Taming of the Shrew • An eye-sore • Kill ... with kindness The Tempest • Into thin air


All the World’s a Stage


The Globe Theater

Woodcut image of the Globe Theater circa 1612.

The Theater was a very important part of life in Shakespeare’s day. There was no XBOX and no Sony Playstation, no computers or mp3 players, no radios or televisions, and no phones at all during the Victorian era. What did people do to pass the time? Reading was important, if you had access to books. Music would be performed at home, if you had access to a fortepiano and music lessons. The one form of entertainment that everybody could access was the theater. Everyone went to the theater, rich or poor. It didn’t hurt that one of the biggest theater lovers was Queen Elizabeth I. Supposedly it was she who demanded a play devoted to the character Falstaff. She loved the old knight in Shakespeare’s Henry IV, and insisted that the bard give her a comedy which showed the fat old knight in love. Many of Shakespeare’s plays were performed in The Globe Theater, built in 1598 in London. It was three stories high, octagonal in shape, and 100 feet in diameter. The stage was a compact 43 feet wide by 28 feet deep and five feet off the ground. The Globe, like many theaters of it’s time, was an open-air theater that could fit 3,000 people – that’s more people than can fit into the Academy of Music. There was no roof over the main portion of it so sunlight could come in and light up the stage. (Remember, Ben Franklin didn’t experiment with electricity with his kite until 1752.) Performance would take place during the day and most likely only during fair weather. The structure was capped by a turret with a flag from which a trumpeter would announce that day’s performance.

There were three tiers, or levels, on which people sat, and standing room on the ground. Standing room was the cheapest ticket and you would stand right in front of the stage. People here, dubbed the groundlings, were loud and boisterous. They would talk back to the actors and eat and drink during the performance. It could be tough in this crowd, too, with pushing, shoving, fistfights, and even pick pockets! For the middle priced ticket, you’d get a seat in the gallery on one of the theater’s tiers. You’d sit on a bench, and you’d have some protection from the hot sun or rain from the theater’s thatched roof. If you were rich and could pay the most expensive price, you’d sit in the exclusive Gentleman’s Room. These private boxes gave you a private entrance into the theater, that way you would avoid contact with the general public. The boxes were located along the walls near the stage and allowed you to be seen by the audience, similar to the box seats on the sides of the stage of the Academy of Music. Since the entire town would have seen a play in a few days, a new one would have to be put on pretty quickly so the theater could make money. Acting companies couldn’t spend too much time rehearsing and would need to have a new play ready in three to four days. Companies were known for their “star” actors who would play the romantic and heroic leads. In this time there were actors only - no actresses. All roles, male and female alike, were acted by men or boys. Boys got to play all of the young heroines like Juliette in Romeo and Juliette. In The Merry Wives of Windsor boys, whose voices had not yet changed, would have played Alice, Nannetta, and Meg Page. For more comedic roles like Dame Quickly, most likely an older man who specialized in playing funny ladies would have played the part. Each of the actors in the troupe would have done certain types of roles – young men, comic parts, heroic parts, tragic parts – but each would have had their “role” in a play. That made it easier for the actors to fit into their role – especially since they might have played more than one part. When the actors received their script, it wasn’t the script of the entire play, just their scenes. The Company would sit down before rehearsals began and the playwright would read the entire play to the actors – perhaps the only time the actors would have heard the full play.

Because the Globe had no roof, the sound of the actor’s voices would escape out of the building, not to mention the fact that audiences then could be quite noisy – especially those on the floor. Actors had to learn how to effectively project their voices. They were forced to shout their lines, over enunciate, and overact so audiences understood what was going on. Theaters like the Globe didn’t use sets like you’ll see in the opera Falstaff. Instead the back wall of the theater had different doorways and balconies that could be used for any situation. They might use a particular prop or piece of furniture that could be used only if it was absolutely necessary, like the laundry basket in which Falstaff is hidden, but you’d never see a complicated set like you see today. So that audiences would know where each scene was set, the playwright would use the first few lines of the new scene to comment on the surroundings or time of day. Costumes, too, were multi-functional. Frequently a rich theater lover would donate their old clothes to the theater company. The theater would have a collection of clothes that they would use for costumes for all of their plays. It would be possible to see the same costume in several plays a year.

The original Globe Theater burned to the ground in 1613 when a cannon shot during a performance of Henry VIII set the thatched roof on fire. A new Globe was built on the same location before Shakespeare’s death. The Globe and other theaters were always careful to make sure the authorities were happy as they could be shut down for any reason from offensive material, to threats to public safety – including the spread of the plague. The Globe was forced to close its doors 1642, when the Puritans closed all entertainment venues as they were viewed as immoral. The Puritans tore down the building in 1644 and built tenements at the location. The Globe’s foundations were rediscovered in 1989, and plans to build a modern-day Globe Theater were spearheaded by American actor Sam Wanamaker. Construction started in 1993 near the site of the original theater and was completed in 1996. Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the theater on June 12, 1997 with a production of Henry V. Every effort was made to reproduce the Globe as faithfully as possible. But as there are no existing blueprints or plans, the new theater was based upon sketches and written descriptions of the original Globe. The modern Globe seats 1,500 people between the galleries and the groundlings. In its opening season, 210,000 spectators saw productions at the theater.

Shakespeare at the Movies If Shakespeare were alive today, you can bet that he’d be one of the greatest writer/directors in Hollywood history. Hollywood has turned to his plays time and again for inspiration. Here’s a list a movies that you may have seen which are based on Shakespearean plays:



1953 1956 1957 1961 1961 1965 Windsor 1983 1985 1991 1995 1996 1999 2000 2001 2001 2001 2001 2004 2006

Kiss Me Kate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Taming of the Shrew Forbidden Planet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Tempest Throne of Blood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Hamlet Manchurian Candidate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Hamlet West Side Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Romeo and Juliet Chimes at Midnight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Merry Wives of

Based on

Strange Brew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Hamlet Ran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .King Lear My Own Private Idaho . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Henry IV Green Eggs and Hamlet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Hamlet Romeo and Juliet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Romeo and Juliet 10 Things I Hate About You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Taming of the Shrew Romeo Must Die . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Romeo and Juliet Macbeth: The Comedy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Macbeth My Kingdom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .King Lear O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Othello Scotland, PA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Macbeth Manchurian Candidate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Hamlet She’s the Man . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Twelfth Night





Time: Reign of King Henry IV Place: Windsor, England

Act I

Scene 1 In a room in the Garter Inn, Sir John Falstaff is writing letters. Dr. Caius enters and complains of the various outrages that have been committed against him by the knight and his followers, Pistola and Bardolfo. Falstaff laughs off these accusations and Dr. Caius storms out of the tavern. Finding they have no money to pay the bill, Falstaff blames his companions and announces a plan to repair his fortunes by having affairs with Alice Ford and Meg Page, both of whom are married to wealthy men (“V’è noto un tal”). He produces the two love letters and tells Pistola and Bardolfo to deliver one to each woman, but the men refuse to assist in such a dishonorable enterprise. Falstaff sends the letters off with a page instead and then lectures the two men on the subject of honor (“L’onore! Ladri!”) before chasing them out of the inn.

Scene 2 In the garden outside of Ford’s house, Alice Ford and her daughter Nannetta meet with Meg Page and Dame Quickly. Alice and Meg are each bursting with the news of their letter from Falstaff. Upon comparing the letters they find them to be identical and the women decide he must be taught a lesson (“Fulgida Alice! Amor t’offro”). Meanwhile, Ford meets with Dr. Caius, Bardolfo, Pistola, and young Fenton, who is secretly in love with Nannetta. Bardolfo and Pistola have betrayed their master and told Ford that Falstaff is pursuing his wife. Briefly alone, Fenton and Nannetta steal kisses but are interrupted when the women return, plotting to send Dame Quickly to Falstaff to arrange an assignation with Alice. Nannetta and Fenton are next interrupted by Ford, who is also plotting his revenge, and plans to be introduced to Falstaff as ‘Master Brook,’ so that he can keep an eye on him. The women return once more and, unaware of each other’s plans, all pledge to punish the knight. Act II

Ford and his men hear a lover’s kiss from behind the scrim in Act II Scene II from the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s production of Falstaff.

Scene 1 Back at the Garter Inn, Falstaff accepts the feigned apologies of Bardolfo and Pistola. Dame Quickly arrives to tell the knight that both Alice and Meg return his affections. She says that Meg’s husband guards her too closely to ever leave her alone but that Alice will meet with him between two and three that afternoon when her husband is always out. Once the meeting is set, Dame Quickly leaves and Falstaff begins to preen himself in preparation for his rendezvous. Ford enters the inn and introduces himself to Falstaff as ‘Master Brook,’ a wealthy man who has fallen in love with Alice Ford but has been unable to woo her. He offers Falstaff money for his help in the matter, suggesting that if the knight can break down Alice’s resistance, he will be able to follow suit. Falstaff accepts the challenge, gleefully boasting that he himself has already set up a tryst with the lady and excuses himself to get ready. Left alone, Ford can’t believe his wife’s betrayal and vows to avenge his honor (“È sogno? o realtà”). He regains his composure by the time Falstaff returns, and the two men leave together.


Scene 2 Back at Ford’s house, Dame Quickly gives a detailed report of her meeting with Falstaff. Nannetta comes in and tearfully tells them that Ford has ordered her to marry old Dr. Caius. When she says that she is in love with Fenton and will marry no one but him, her mother promises to help her. The other women hide and Alice sits at her lute as Falstaff arrives. She listens to his advances but keeps the knight at a safe distance. They are interrupted by Dame Quickly, who tells them that Ford is on his way. Falstaff hides behind a screen just as Ford enters with his followers, hoping to catch the knight seducing his wife. Finding nothing, the men leave to search the rest of the house. While Ford is searching the other rooms, the women hide Falstaff in a laundry basket, covering him with dirty linens. Ford returns and, hearing the sound of kissing from behind a screen, discovers Nannetta and Fenton. More furious than ever, Ford rushes out to continue his search, while Alice orders the servants to dump the laundry basket out the window and into the Thames River below. When Ford returns, Alice leads him to the window just in time to see Falstaff dumped into the muddy river. Act III

Scene 1 Back at the inn, Falstaff broods over his humiliation, but his spirits improve drastically as he drinks his wine (“Mondo ladro”). Dame Quickly comes with a message from Alice, but Falstaff wants nothing more to do with her. She persuades him that it was the servants’ fault that he ended up in the river and that Alice wants to meet with him again. Falstaff cannot resist the temptation and agrees to a midnight meeting in Windsor Park, where he is to come disguised as the ‘Black Huntsman,’ who is said to haunt the forest. The women plan the details of the midnight masquerade. Fenton and Caius participate in the plans as well, along with Ford, who is now convinced of his wife’s fidelity. Dame Quickly reappears to overhear Ford and Caius plotting to announce Nannetta’s marriage to the doctor that very night, and she vows to stop them.

Scene 2 That night in Windsor Forest, Fenton sings of his love for Nannetta (“Dal labbro il canto”) but is interrupted by Alice, who gives him a costume identical to the one that Ford has given Caius to wear. The rest of the group hastily dons their costumes and hides just as Falstaff arrives dressed as the Black Hunter. Alice greets him, but when they hear noises, she quickly disappears, leaving him alone as a horde of spirits descends on him. Nannetta, who is disguised as Queen of the Fairies, calls to her followers, who gather around the knight as he cowers on the ground (‘Sul fil d’un soffio etesio”). Begging for mercy, Falstaff finally recognizes Bardolfo through his disguise. The rest of the group unmasks and Falstaff realizes that he has been played for a fool. The ladies reprove him for thinking that they would have accepted him as a lover and Ford reveals himself as Alice’s husband, not the lovelorn ‘Brook.’ Ford takes Nannetta by the hand and announces her betrothal to Caius. He does the same for a similarly disguised couple brought forward by Alice. He bids them all unmask and is shocked to find that Bardolfo has been dressed up in Nannetta’s clothes and is now therefore betrothed to Caius. The other couple is, of course, Nannetta and Fenton in disguise. Ford has been duped too but he forgives them all, and Falstaff leads the group in declaring that the world is but a jest (“Tutto nel mondo è burla”).

Meet the


22 Falstaff Roberto De Candia, baritone Figaro, The Barber of Seville (2005)

Alice Christine Goerke, soprano Rosalinde, Die Fledermaus (2005)

Ford Mark Stone, baritone

Dame Quickly

Opera Company Debut

Mrs. Ott, Susannah (2003) Martha, Faust (2004)

Nanetta Evelyn Pollack, soprano Opera Company Debut

Dr. Caius Mark T. Pannucio, tenor Giuseppe, La traviata (1997) Peasant, La Fille Du Regiment (1998)

Pistol Matthew Rose, bass Trufaldino, Ariadne auf Naxos (2003) Doctor Grenvil, La traviata (2003) Apparition Doctor, Macbeth (2003)

Conductor Corrado Rovaris Aida Die Fledermaus A Masked Ball The Barber of Seville The Marriage of Figaro La bohème Cinderella

(2005) (2005) (2005) (2005) (2006) (2006) (2006)

Meredith Arwady, contralto

Fenton Jesús Garcia, tenor Ernesto, Don Pasquale (2004)

Bardolph Steven Cole, tenor Sportin’ Life, Porgy and Bess (2007)

Director Robert B. Driver Aida (2005) Die Fledermaus (2005) A Masked Ball (2005) The Barber of Seville (2005) The Marriage of Figaro (2006) La bohème (2006)

Introducing Soprano

Christine Goerke It’s been an interesting road to the opera stage. I never even thought of pursuing a career as a singer when I was in high school. I started out wanting to teach high school band. I played the clarinet for years and learned to play other woodwind instruments too. Flute and saxophone were fun, but when I learned to play the Bass Clarinet, I thought that was a blast! I didn’t really know I could sing until I was in college. I had to take a placement test at the music school to see if I could sight read music. That means just looking at a piece of music and “singing” what’s on the page. You don’t have to sing it well, just get the notes and note values right. It turned out that the school liked my singing more than my clarinet playing! I was very confused by this, but then realized that I didn’t have to carry around an instrument in a case, and could just sing instead... so - I guess you could say I’m a singer because I was lazy! Actually, I laugh sometimes when people say that they think that singing is something that you just get up and do, and that’s that. Singing is really hard work! Education plays a very big part in it, too, but education is important in any choice of career, not only music. We singers all train for years. Not just learning how to sing, but learning about different kinds of music, different composers, and what was going on in the world historically when pieces were written. This makes a difference when you’re trying to become a character in a different time period. We study movement, acting, and I even studied Oceanography and Statistics too! Then there are the many languages we have to learn and study in order to be able to sing in them. Falstaff is by Giuseppe Verdi. It was written in Italian and was first performed in Milan, Italy in February 1893. I had to study Italian, and learn Italian diction when I was in college. Diction is just a schmancy word for pronouncing a language correctly when you sing in it. I started to study different languages in college. I’m not fluent in all of them, but I can speak enough Italian, German, and French to get by - and I can understand what I’m saying when I sing in all of them now. But it took time, like anything that you learn for the first time! The first time I had to sing an opera in a language other than English I was scared to death. I was in college and didn’t know Italian very well yet. I translated everything on the top of the page and

hoped that it would be enough. I some how was able to get through it and Soprano made lots of mistakes! I Christine Goerke was able to laugh about it. That was the greatest thing I learned very early on. We will always make mistakes and if we can’t laugh about them and learn from them? What is the point? I came away from my education with so much more than just my knowledge and understanding of music. This is the way that any education or career path should go. Learn everything that you can. Soak it up like a sponge. I promise - you’ll never know when you can use the information that you’ve learned, and when it will make you more valuable at your job! I really love what I do, but being away from my friends and family when I have to travel far from home is toughest part of the job. So, when I’m home, I really make the time count. My husband Jim used to be a chef - he’s incredible in the kitchen, and I’m a very lucky lady... but we love two things: pizza night and BBQ night. There is a place near our house called “Cubby’s BBQ”. The most amazing ribs! We also really have an addiction to miniature golf. I know that probably sounds stupid but it’s so much fun! I love watching Family Guy - it cracks me up, and I’ve been hooked on Days of our Lives every since my Mom got me started watching it when I was 10 years old! Despite all the hard work, it’s so much fun to be able to sing. Singing is fun wherever you do it: in the bathtub, in the car, on stage, in school - you name it. I’m very lucky because I get to make a living doing what I love, and having fun too! Plus, I love seeing and feeling the audience enjoying themselves. When people sit in an audience to watch a show, and they get involved with what is on stage? The performers can “Feel” that involvement. When I know that the audience is being moved by what I’m doing? It’s the best reward I could ask for. I hope you enjoy Falstaff! Christine To learn more about Christine, check out her webpage at www.christinegoerke.com, and send her a message!





Final Dress Rehearsal - Monday, April 30, 2007 at 6:15 p.m. at the Academy of Music Libretto, Courtesy of EMI Records ©

Cast of Characters Sir John Falstaff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Roberto De Candia, baritone Ford, a young burgher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Mark Stone, baritone Mistress Alice Ford, his wife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Christine Goerke, soprano Nanetta, her daughter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Evelyn Pollack, soprano Dame Quickly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Meredith Arwardy, contralto Mistress Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Elizabeth de Shong, mezzo-soprano Fenton, a young gentleman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jesus Garcia, tenor Dr. Caius, a physician . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Mark T. Panuccio, tenor Bardolph, follower of Falstaff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Steven Cole, tenor Pistol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Matthew Rose, bass Burghers and street folk, Ford’s servants, maskers, as elves, fairies, witches, etc. Corrado Rovaris, Conductor Robert B. Driver, Director Richard St. Clair, Costume Designer Paul Shortt, Scenic Designer

Act I, Part One The hall of the Garter Inn. A table. An armchair. A bench. On the table, the leftovers of a dinner, several bottles and a glass. An inkwell, pens, paper, a burning candle. A broom upright against the wall. To the rear, a door, another to the left. (Falstaff is melting the wax for two letters in the candle flame. He seals the letters with his ring, then blows out the candle, lies back comfortably in the armchair and beings to drink.) CAIUS (shouting menacingly as he enters) Falstaff! FALSTAFF (paying no attention to Dr Caius, calls the innkeeper, who comes towards him) Ho, there!

CAIUS Sir John Falstaff! BARDOLPH (to the Doctor) Oh, what’s come over you? CAIUS (shouting and approaching Falstaff) You beat my servants!... FALSTAFF (to the innkeeper) Host! Another bottle of sherry! CAIUS You broke down my bay mare, you violated my house. FALSTAFF But not your housekeeper.

CAIUS Oh, thank you! A blear-eyed old hag. Ample Sir, were you twenty times Sir John Falstaff, Knight, I should force you to answer me. FALSTAFF This is my answer: I did everything you say. CAIUS And so? FALSTAFF I did it purposely. CAIUS I shall appeal to the King’s Council. FALSTAFF And God be with you. My counsel is this: be quiet or you’ll make an ass of yourself. CAIUS (still raging, but now at Bardolph) I haven’t finished! FALSTAFF Oh, the devil! CAIUS Bardolph! BARDOLPH Doctor! CAIUS Last night you got me drunk. BARDOLPH Too bad! What a pain! (letting the Doctor feel his pulse) I am ill. Make me a prognostic. My gut is ruined. Cursed by hosts who chalk their wine! You see this meteor? (pointing to his nose) CAIUS I do. BARDOLPH It goes to bed ablaze like this each night. CAIUS (exploding) Prognostic be damned! You made me drink, you rascal, with him... (indicating Pistol) ...talking nonsense. Then, when I was drunk, you emptied my pockets.

BARDOLPH (with decorum) Not I. CAIUS Who, then? FALSTAFF (calling) Pistol! PISTOL (advancing) Sir! FALSTAFF (phlegmatically, still seated in the armchair) Did you empty this gentleman’s pockets? CAIUS (springing at Pistol) Of course it was he. Look – he’s about to deny it, the lying scoundrel! (emptying a pocket of his jacket) Here I had two shillings of King Edward’s realm, and six half-crowns. There’s not a sign of them now. PISTOL (to Falstaff, as he gravely brandishes the broom) Sir, I ask leave to fight him with this wooden weapon. (to the Doctor) You lie! CAIUS Clodhopper! You’re speaking to a gentleman! PISTOL Simpleton! CAIUS Beggar! PISTOL Beast! CAIUS Dog! PISTOL Coward! CAIUS Scarecrow! PISTOL Gnome!



CAIUS Mandrake spawn! PISTOL Who? CAIUS You. PISTOL Say it again! CAIUS Yes! PISTOL By thunder! FALSTAFF Eh, Pistol! Don’t go off here! (At Falstaff’s order, Pistol restrains himself. Falstaff calls Bardolph, who comes forward.) Bardolph! Now, who emptied this gentleman’s pockets? CAIUS It was one of them! BARDOLPH (serenely pointing to Dr Caius) He drinks; then, having drunk too much, he loses his senses. Later he comes up with some wild tale he’s dreamed while asleep under the table. FALSTAFF (to Dr. Caius) You hear? If only you think, you’ll find the truth. The charge is refuted. Go now in peace. CAIUS If ever I get drunk again at the inn, I swear it will be only with honest, sober, civil, pious folk. (He goes out.) BARDOLPH, PISTOL Amen. FALSTAFF Enough of this antiphon. You are out of time. This is the basic rule of art: steal deftly and at the right time. You are clumsy artists. BARDOLPH, PISTOL A...

FALSTAFF Six chickens: six shillings. Thirty bottles of sherry: two pounds. Three turkeys... (to Bardolph, throwing him his purse) Look in my purse. Two pheasants. An anchovy... BARDOLPH (takes the money from the purse and counts it out on the table) One mark – one mark – one penny. FALSTAFF Search! BARDOLPH I have! FALSTAFF Search! BARDOLPH (tossing the purse onto the table) There’s not a penny more. FALSTAFF (rising) You’re my ruin! Each week I spend ten guineas! Drunkard! True, as we go from tavern to tavern at night, your blazing nose serves well as a lantern. But what I save in oil, you drink in wine. I’ve been watering that purple mushroom for thirty years! You cost too much. (to Pistol) And you too. Host! Another bottle! You make me lose weight! If Falstaff thins, he’s not himself, no one will love him; in this paunch a thousand tongues cry out my name! PISTOL Immense Falstaff! BARDOLPH (imitating) Enormous Falstaff! FALSTAFF (looking at his belly and patting it) This is my kingdom. I must increase it. BARDOLPH Enormous Falstaff! PISTOL Immense Falstaff!

FALSTAFF But now we must sharpen our wits.

FALSTAFF (continuing Bardolph’s joke) And paragraph. There is still another...

BARDOLPH, PISTOL Let’s sharpen away.

BARDOLPH, then PISTOL Another?!

FALSTAFF Do you know a fellow here in town named Ford?

FALSTAFF ...named Margaret.


PISTOL They call her Meg.


FALSTAFF She too is taken with my charms. She too holds the keys to the coffer. These two shall be my Golconda, my Gold Coast! Look at me. I’m still enjoying a pleasant Indian summer. Take these two fiery letters. (He gives Bardolph one of the letters from the table.) Take this to Meg; let us test her virtue. Your nose flames with zeal. (He gives Pistol the other letter.) And you, take this to Alice.

FALSTAFF He’s a rich townsman... PISTOL More generous than Croesus. BARDOLPH A lord! FALSTAFF His wife is beautiful. PISTOL And she holds the purse-strings. FALSTAFF That’s the one! Oh love! Starry eyes! A swan’s neck! Her lips? A flower! A laughing flower. Her name is Alice. One day as I passed by in her neighborhood, she smiled. Love’s fire flamed in my heart. The goddess shone a burning-glass on me, on me, on my lusty flanks, my broad chest, my manly foot, my sturdy, upright, mighty frame! Desire blazed within her as I passed, as if she would say: I am Sir John Falstaff’s! BARDOLPH Full stop.

PISTOL (with dignity, refusing) I carry a sword. I am no Pandarus. I refuse. FALSTAFF (disdainful, calm) Charlatan! BARDOLPH (coming forward and tossing the letter on the table) Sir John, I cannot serve you in this plot. It is forbidden by... FALSTAFF (interrupting) By whom? BARDOLPH My honor. FALSTAFF (catching sight of the page Robin coming in) Eh, page! (immediately thereafter, to Bardolph and Pistol) Go hang, but no more on me. (to the page, who then runs out with the letters) Take these letters, for two ladies, carry them immediately – go, run along! (returning to Bardolph and Pistol)



This section is Track 1 on the CD of music excerpts. Here is both the original Italian and English translation. L’onore! Ladri. voi state ligi all’onor vostro, voi! Cloache d’ignominia, quando non sempre noi possiam star ligi al nostro. Io stesso, sì, io, io, devo talor da un lato porre il timor di Dio e, per necessità, sviar l’onore, usare stratagemmi ed equivoci, destreggiar, bordeggiare. E voi, coi vostri cenci e coll’occhiata torta da gattopardo e i fetidi sghignazzi, avete a scorta il vostro Onor! Che onore!? Che onor? Che onor! che ciancia! Che baia! Può l’onore riempirvi la pancia? No. Può l’onor rimettervi uno stinco? Non può. Né un piede? No. Né un dito? No. Né un capello? No. L’onor non è chirurgo. Ch’è dunque? Una parola. Che c’è in questa parola? C’è dell’aria che vola. Bel costrutto! L’onore lo può sentir chi è morto? No. Vive sol coi vivi? Neppure: perché a torto lo gonfian le lusinghe, lo corrompe l’orgoglio, l’ammorban le calunnie; e per me non ne voglio! No, no, no, no, no, no! Ma, per tornare a voi, furfanti, ho atteso troppo, e vi discaccio. (Prende in mano la scopa e insegue Bardolfo e Pistola che scansano i colpi correndo qua e là e riparandosi dietro la tavola.) Olà! Lesti! lesti! al galoppo! Al galoppo! Il capestro assai bene vi sta. Lesti! lesti! al galoppo! ladri! ladri! Via! via di qua! via di qua! (Bardolfo e Pistola fuggono, non senza essersi buscato qualche colpo di granata, e Falstaff li insegue.)

Honor! Thieves! You are faithful to your honor, you sewers of infamy, when not always can even we keep faith with ours. Yes, even I myself, must sometimes lay aside the fear of God and, of necessity, outwit my honor with some stratagem, some ambiguity, the better to tack with deftness; and you, in your rags, with your crooked leopard’s eye, your foetid laughter, keep company with Honor! What honor? What honor indeed? Such chatter! What a joke! Can honor fill your belly? No. Can honor set a broken shin? It cannot. Or mend a foot? No. Or a finger? No. Or a hair? No. Honor is not a surgeon. What is it, then? A word. What’s in this word? Air, which flies away. A fine concept! Does a dead man know honor? No. Does it live, then, only with the living? Not even, for it puffs up at flattery, pride corrupts it, slander softens it. For me, I’ll have no part of it! No, no, no, no, no, no! But to get back to you two bandits. I’ve been patient too long, and now I throw you out. (He takes the broom and chases Bardolph and Pistol about the hall. They escape his blows by running about, seeking shelter behind the table.) Ho, there! Quick, quick! At the gallop! At the gallop! The halter fits you well. Out, get out of here! Thieves! Thieves! Out of here! (Bardolph and Pistol escape – but not before several blows of the broom strike home as Falstaff chases them.)

This section is Track 2 on the CD of music excerpts. Here is both the original Italian and English translation.

Seconda Parte

Part Two

Giardino. A sinistra la casa di Ford. Gruppi di alberi nel centro della scena.

A garden. To the left, Ford’s house. Clusters of trees at centre-stage.

(Meg entra con Mistress Quickly. S’avviano verso la casa di Ford, e sulla soglia s’imbattono in Alice e Nannetta che stanno per escire.)

(Meg enters with Mistress Quickly. They advance towards Ford’s house. They meet Alice and Nannetta, coming out, as they near the door.)

MEG (salutando) Alice!

MEG (greeting Alice) Alice!

ALICE (salutando) Meg!

ALICE (greeting Meg) Meg!

MEG Nannetta!

MEG Nannetta!

ALICE (a Meg) Escivo appunto per ridere con te. (a Quickly) Buon dì, comare.

ALICE (to Meg) I was coming to have a good laugh with you. (to Quickly) Good day!

QUICKLY Dio vi doni allegria. (accarezzando la guancia di Nannetta) Botton di rosa!

QUICKLY God grant you joy. (caressing Nannetta’s cheek) Rosebud!

ALICE (ancora a Meg) Giungi in buon punto. M’accade un fatto da trasecolar.

ALICE (to Meg) You’ve come just at the right time. I’ve something here that will amaze you.

MEG Anche a me.

MEG So have I.

QUICKLY (avvicinandosi con curiosità) Che?

QUICKLY (approaching with curiosity) What?

NANNETTA (avvicinandosi) Che cosa?

NANNETTA (coming nearer) What is it?

ALICE (a Meg) Narra il tuo caso.

ALICE (to Meg) Tell me your story.

MEG Narra il tuo.

MEG No – tell me yours.


NANNETTA, QUICKLY Tell me, tell me!

ALICE Promessa di non ciarlar.

ALICE Promise not to breathe a word.



MEG Ti pare?!

MEG Of course not!

QUICKLY Oibò! Vi pare?!

QUICKLY I should say not!

ALICE Dunque: se m’acconciassi a entrar nei rei propositi del diavolo, sarei promossa al grado di Cavalleressa!

ALICE Well, if I were willing to heed the devil’s coaxing, I could be promoted to the rank of Milady!

MEG Anch’io.

MEG I too.

ALICE Motteggi.

ALICE You’re making fun of me.

MEG (cerca in tasca. Estrae una lettera.) Non più parole. Ché qui sciupiamo la luce del sole. Ho una lettera.

MEG (takes a letter from her pocket) Enough chatter – we’re wasting time. I’ve a letter here.

ALICE (cerca in tasca) Anch’io.

ALICE (searching in her pocket) So have I.



ALICE Leggi. (Le due donne scambiano lettere.)

ALICE Read this. (The two women exchange their letters.)

MEG Leggi. (leggendo la lettera di Alice) “Fulgida Alice! amor t’offro...” Ma come?! Che cosa dice? Salvo che il nome la frase è uguale.

MEG Read this. (reading Alice’s letter aloud) “Shining Alice! I offer love...” What’s this? What does it say? Except for the name, the words are identical.

ALICE (leggendo la lettera di Meg) “Fulgida Meg! amor t’offro...”

ALICE (reads the other letter) “Shining Meg! I offer love.”

MEG “...amor bramo.”

MEG “...love I desire.”

ALICE Qua Meg, là Alice.

ALICE Here Meg, there Alice.

MEG È tal e quale. “Non domandar perché ma dimmi...”

MEG Everything else is the same. “Ask not why, but tell me only...”

ALICE “...t’amo.” Pur non gli offersi cagion.

ALICE “...I love you.” And yet I gave him no reason.

MEG Il nostro caso è pur strano. (Tutte sono in un gruppo addosso alle lettere, confrontandole e maneggiandole con curiosità.)

MEG This is a strange matter. (The women all crowd around, curious to compare the letters.)

QUICKLY Guardiam con flemma.

QUICKLY Let’s examine them with calm.

QUICKLY La stessa mano.

QUICKLY The same handwriting.

NANNETTA Lo stesso stemma.

NANNETTA The same crest.

ALICE, MEG (leggendo insieme ciascuno sulla propria lettera) “Sei la gaia comare, il compar gaio son io, e fra noi due facciamo il paio.”

ALICE, MEG (in concert, each reading her own) “You are the merry wife, the merry man am I; between us, what a splendid pair we make.”


ALICE Indeed!

NANNETTA Lui, lei, te.

NANNETTA He, she, you.

QUICKLY Un paio in tre.

QUICKLY A triple pair.

ALICE “Facciamo il paio in un amor ridente di donna bella e d’uom...”

ALICE “Let us join in a blithesome love, a beautiful woman, a man...”

TUTTE “...appariscente...”

ALL “...handsome man...”

ALICE “...e il viso tuo su me risplenderà come una stella, sull’immensità...”

ALICE “...Your face will shine upon me like a star over the bottomless deep...”

TUTTE (ridendo) Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!

ALL (laughing) Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

ALICE “Rispondi al tuo scudiere, John Falstaff Cavaliere.”

ALICE “Reply to your obedient servant, John Falstaff, Knight.”



This section is just the English translation. QUICKLY Monster! MEG, NANNETTA, ALICE Monster! ALICE We must play a trick on him. NANNETTA And cause a scandal. ALICE And make a fool of him. NANNETTA Oh! Oh! What fun! QUICKLY What sport! MEG What sweet revenge! ALICE That winebag! That winevat! That king of paunches, still prattling like a handsome youth. His greasy hide is dripping with oil, yet he still carries on with verses and jingles! Let him go on with this easy chatter; he’ll end like the pipers who came down from the hills. You’ll see – if I play with this fine fat fellow I’ll make him spin faster than he’d turn in a reel. MEG The man is a cannon – if he explodes, we’re done for. If he were to hug her, he’d crush even Juno. You’ll see – if you but wink at him, he’ll jump at the bait; he’ll go mad in his eagerness to run into the trap. Ah, what power in the fragile smile of a woman! What wisdom in the deft swirl of a skirt! When he’s once caught in the pitch we’ll hear him squeal. We’ll see this hot passion of his go up in smoke. NANNETTA If you’re plotting a prank, I, too, want a part. We must bring it off smartly, with skill, so he can’t see the trap as he slips. He’s already mistaken a firefly for a lantern. I have no doubt but what our plan will succeed. We must offer the bait to catch him quick. If we use some skill along with our chattering, the beast will sweat plenty before we’ve done.

QUICKLY The stormy sea has cast up on the shore, on the beach of Windsor a voracious whale. But here there’s no place for him to fatten; he’s already beaten by the tongues of all three – three tongues which are merrier than castanets clicking, which can gossip far faster than the warbling of birds. May the mirth be eternal of all this fine chattering, the brisk chattering of Windsor’s gay wives. (They walk off. Dr Caius, Fenton, Bardolph and Pistol enter. All are speaking to Ford at the same time, softly.) CAIUS (to Ford) He’s a rascal, a trickster and a thief, a Turk, a vandal, a sneak. The other day he wrecked my house – a scandal. If I call him into Court he’ll pay for this nonsense, but the fate he deserves is to end up with the devil. Those two there beside you are men from his tribe, and neither’s a saint nor a flower of virtue. BARDOLPH (to Ford) Falstaff, yes, I repeat, I swear, (Heaven enlightens you through my mouth) – John Falstaff has in mind a filthy plot against you. I am a man of arms and I cannot suffer to see the villain muddy you. I’m not one to forget his honor, not even for a kingdom! Mister Ford, a man who is warned is only half saved. It’s up to you to devise a trick to defeat the trick he would play on you. FENTON (to Ford) If you wish, sir, I am willing to bring him to his senses one way or another and to give him his just deserts. Frankly, I like the idea (it would be a merry sport) of breaking through that hyperbolic-apoplectic paunch. With sharp words or with a sword, if I meet him face to face, either he’ll walk the chalkline or I’ll pack him off to hell. PISTOL (to Ford) Sir John Falstaff is preparing dangerous business for you, Mister Ford. Even now, something’s hanging straight up and down above your head. Mister Ford, I’ve been in the service of the man of ample skin: but I’ve repented and given it up for reasons of health. Now you know what threatens you, and you know your rascal, too. Watch out, watch out, watch out – here there’s a question of honor.

FORD The buzz of bees, the whine of wasps, the crash of thunder – these are all I hear. My brain reels in drunken terror. What’s building up around me is the whisper of conspiracy. Four speak, one listens – which shall have my ear? If you talk one at a time, perhaps I’ll understand. (to Pistol) Tell me once more. PISTOL (to Ford) To make it brief: the mighty Falstaff has decided to enter your house, pinch your wife, break open your coffer and smash your bed. CAIUS Ye gods! FORD What troubles I have! BARDOLPH (to Ford) He’s already written her a letter... PISTOL But I refused to carry the filthy thing. BARDOLPH I, too, refused. PISTOL Take care! BARDOLPH Take care! PISTOL Falstaff ogles them all, whether they are ugly or beautiful, both maidens and wives. BARDOLPH, then PISTOL All of them! All of them!

FORD An ugly word! CAIUS The Knight has voracious appetites. FORD I shall watch my wife, and I shall watch the gentleman too. (The four women return.) I shall protect my home from the lusts of others. FENTON (as he sees Nannetta, to himself) It’s she! NANNETTA (as she sees Fenton, to herself) It’s he! FORD (as he sees Alice, to himself) It’s she! ALICE (as she sees Ford, to herself) It’s he! CAIUS (to Ford, pointing to Alice) It’s she! MEG (to Alice, pointing at Ford) It’s he! ALICE (in a low voice, to the other women) If he knew! NANNETTA Oh! ALICE Let’s avoid him. (The men, except Fenton, leave.) MEG Is Ford a jealous man?

BARDOLPH The crown which adorned the brow of Acteon is sprouting on your head.


FORD Which is to say?

QUICKLY Be quiet!


ALICE Let’s be careful! (The women, except Nannetta, leave.)



This section is Track 3 on the CD of music excerpts. Here is both the original Italian and English translation. FENTON Pst, pst, Nannetta.

FENTON Pst, pst, Nannetta!



FENTON Vien qua.

FENTON Come here.

NANNETTA Taci. Che vuoi?

NANNETTA Be quiet. What do you want?

FENTON Due baci.

FENTON Two kisses.

NANNETTA, poi FENTON In fretta. (Si baciano rapidamente.)

NANNETTA, then FENTON Quickly, then. (They kiss hastily.)

NANNETTA Labbra di foco!

NANNETTA Lips like fire!

FENTON Labbra di fiore!

FENTON Lips like flowers!

NANNETTA Che il vago gioco sanno d’amore.

NANNETTA Which know the pretty game of love.

FENTON Che spargon ciarle, che mostran perle, belle a vederle, dolci a baciarle! (Tenta di abbracciarla.) Labbra leggiadre!

FENTON Which speak nonsense, revealing pearls, pretty to look at, sweet to kiss! (He tries to embrace her.) Happy lips!

NANNETTA Man malandrine!

NANNETTA Naughty hands!

FENTON Ciglia assassine! Pupille ladre! T’amo!

FENTON Naughtier eyes! They’ve stolen my heart! I love you!

NANNETTA Imprudente. (Fenton fa per baciarla ancora.) No.

NANNETTA Be careful. (Fenton tries to kiss her again.) No.

FENTON Sì...Due baci.

FENTON Yes...just one more kiss.

NANNETTA (svincolandosi) Basta.

NANNETTA (freeing herself) That’s all now.

FENTON Mi piaci tanto!

FENTON I want you so much!

NANNETTA Vien gente. (S’allontanano; le donne rientrano; Fenton nasconde dietro gli alberi.) FENTON Bocca baciata non perde ventura. NANNETTA (avvicinandosi alle altre donne) Anzi rinnova come fa la luna, come fa la luna. ALICE Falstaff m’ha canzonata. MEG Merita un gran castigo. ALICE Se gli scrivessi un rigo? NANNETTA Val meglio un’ambasciata. ALICE poi NANNETTA poi QUICKLY Sì. ALICE (a Quickly) Da quel brigante tu andrai. Lo adeschi all’offa d’un ritrovo galante con me. QUICKLY Questa è gaglioffa! NANNETTA Che bella burla! ALICE Prima, per attirarlo a noi lo lusinghiamo... NANNETTA E poi?... ALICE ...e poi gliele cantiamo in rima. QUICKLY Non merita riguardo. ALICE È un bove. MEG È un uomo senza fede.

NANNETTA Someone’s coming. (They separate; the women return; Fenton hides behind a bush.) FENTON Lips which are kissed lose none of their charm. NANNETTA (as she joins the others) But enter a new phase, like the moon. ALICE Falstaff’s tried to make a fool of me. MEG He deserves punishment. ALICE If I were to write him a line? NANNETTA A visit would be better. ALICE, then NANNETTA, then QUICKLY Yes. ALICE (to Quickly) You shall go to the rascal’s house. Bait him with the promise of a love-tryst with me. QUICKLY This is rich! NANNETTA What a joke! ALICE First, to bring him round, we’ll flatter him, then... NANNETTA And then? ALICE ...then we’ll give him his just deserts. QUICKLY He deserves no mercy. ALICE He’s a bull. MEG He’s a faithless wretch.



ALICE È un monte di lardo. MEG Non merita clemenza. ALICE È un ghiotton che scialacqua tutto il suo aver nel cuoco. NANNETTA Lo tufferem nell’acqua. ALICE Lo arrostiremo al fuoco. NANNETTA Che gioia! ALICE Che allegria! MEG e QUICKLY, poi ALICE e NANNETTA Che gioia! MEG Procaccia di far bene la tua parte. QUICKLY Chi viene? MEG Là c’è qualcun che spia. (Escono rapidamente Alice, Meg e Quickly. Nannetta resta e Fenton le torna accanto.) FENTON Torno all’assalto. NANNETTA Torno alla gara. Ferisci! FENTON Para! (Si slancia per baciarla; Nannetta si ripara il viso con una mano che Fenton bacia e vorrebbe ribaciare; ma Nannetta la solleva più alto che puòe Fenton ritenta invano di raggiungerla colle labbra.) NANNETTA La mira è in alto. L’amor è un agile torneo, sua corte vuol che il più fragile vinca il più forte.

ALICE He’s a mountain of fat. MEG He deserves no mercy. ALICE He’s a glutton, who wastes his fortune on his cook.

NANNETTA We’ll douse him in the river. ALICE We’ll roast him in the fire. NANNETTA Oh joy! ALICE What sport! MEG, QUICKLY, then ALICE, NANNETTA Oh joy! MEG Be sure to play your part well. QUICKLY Who’s there? MEG There’s someone spying on us. (Alice, Meg and Quickly hurry away. Nannetta stays behind and Fenton comes to join her.) FENTON I return to the assault. NANNETTA I return to the joust. Strike! FENTON Parry! (He tries to kiss her, but Nannetta covers her face with her hand, which Fenton kisses. As he tries to kiss her hand again, she raises it higher and higher so that Fenton cannot reach it with his lips.) NANNETTA The target is high. Love is a nimble joust, whose Court decrees that the weak shall conquer the strong.

FENTON M’armo, ti guardo. T’aspetto al varco. NANNETTA Il labbro è l’arco. FENTON E il bacio è il dardo. Bada! la freccia fatal già scocca dalla mia bocca sulla tua treccia. (annodandogli il collo colla treccia, mentre labacia.) NANNETTA Eccoti avvinto. FENTON Chiedo la vita! NANNETTA Io son ferita...ma tu sei vinto. FENTON Pietà! Pietà! Facciamo la pace e poi... NANNETTA E poi? FENTON Se vuoi, ricominciamo. NANNETTA Bello è quel gioco che dura poco. Basta. FENTON Amor mio! NANNETTA Vien gente. Addio! (Fugge.) FENTON Bocca baciata non perde ventura. NANNETTA (da lontano, rispondendo) Anzi rinnova come fa la luna.

FENTON I am armed, I watch you, I await you at the pass. NANNETTA Lips are the bow. FENTON The kiss is the arrow. Beware! The fatal dart now flies from my lips to your hair. (winding her hair about his neck, as he kisses her) NANNETTA Now I have conquered you. FENTON I beg for my life! NANNETTA I may be wounded, but you are vanquished. FENTON I beg for mercy! Let’s make our peace, and then... NANNETTA And then? FENTON If you wish, we shall begin all over again. NANNETTA A pleasant game is quickly done. Enough! FENTON My darling! NANNETTA Someone’s coming. Goodbye! (She runs out.) FENTON Lips that are kissed lose none of their charm. NANNETTA (answering, in the distance) But enter a new phase, like the moon.



This section is just the English translation. (Ford, Caius, Bardolph and Pistol enter; Fenton joins them.) BARDOLPH (to Ford) You will see what proud and overbearing eloquence he uses. FORD Where did you say he lives? PISTOL At the Garter Inn. FORD You shall announce me under a false name. Later, you’ll see how I’ll catch him. But – not a word! BARDOLPH I’m not a chatterbox. My name is Bardolph. PISTOL My name is Pistol. FORD Then we all agree. BARDOLPH Your secret will be kept. PISTOL I’m deaf and dumb. FORD Then we’re all agreed. BARDOLPH, PISTOL Yes. FORD Your hand on it. (Alice, Nannetta, Meg and Quickly enter.) CAIUS (to Ford) Your barbaric diagnosis is perhaps worse than the disease. Although it’s not pleasant to taste, you ought to try the truth. Just as with the acid flavor of juniper and rhubarb, whose bitterness is sweetened by their virtues as a physic.

PISTOL (to Ford) Keep his cup full, never leave it empty, while you question your man. Perhaps then you will succeed in unraveling this tangled knot. As the willow bends to the river, so Sir John to a glass of wine. This way you’ll discover his plans and he’ll betray his thoughts. BARDOLPH (to Ford) Mister Ford, in you is personified a matrimonial misfortune. If you aren’t wise as well as cautious, Sir John will surely betray you. This fleshly full-moon, empurpled by wine, would find your innocence too delicious to resist. ALICE (to Meg) You shall see – if I play with this fine fat fellow, I’ll spin him faster than he’d spin in a reel. MEG (to Alice) Once he’s caught in the pitch we’ll hear him squeal. We’ll see this hot passion of his go up in smoke. NANNETTA (to Alice) If we use some skill along with our chattering, the beast will sweat streams before we are through. QUICKLY May the mirth be eternal of all this fine chattering, the brisk chattering of Windsor’s merry wives. FENTON (to himself) Over here the men are muttering, the air is filled with mystery. Over there the wives are chattering in some deep conspiracy. But she whose name, o Love, thou speakest in my heart, must soon be mine! We shall be like two twin stars, which shine in a single gleam. FORD (to Pistol) You will see how well I work in my dealings with this villain. The game is worth the candle if only I find out his plans. If I can avoid this shame, our work won’t have been in vain. If I draw him into the trap, the snake will bite the rascal. (Ford, Caius, Fenton, Bardolph and Pistol leave.) ALICE Enough of talking. NANNETTA (to Quickly) Run off to your work, now.

ALICE I’ll hear him miaou like a tomcat for love. (to Quickly) We’re agreed? QUICKLY Yes. NANNETTA Agreed.

ALICE “But my face shall shine upon him...” ALL “...like a star over the bottomless deep.” Ha! Ha! (They take leave of one another laughingly.)

ALICE Tomorrow.

Act II, Part One

QUICKLY Yes, yes.

The hall of the Garter Inn (Falstaff, as always, is seated in his great chair, drinking sack. Bardolph and Pistol are upstage, next to the door.)

ALICE Good day, Meg. QUICKLY Nannetta, good day. NANNETTA Goodbye. MEG, NANNETTA Good day. ALICE (to Meg) You’ll see how that frightful paunch will puff up. ALICE, MEG Puff up.

BARDOLPH, PISTOL (striking their chests in penitence) We are penitent and contrite. FALSTAFF (scarcely turning towards them) Man returns to his vice like a cat to cream. PISTOL And we return to you. BARDOLPH Master, a woman outside asks to be admitted to your presence. FALSTAFF Let her in. (Bardolph goes out and then returns with Quickly.)

ALICE, MEG, QUICKLY, NANNETTA Puff up and burst.

This section is Track 4 on the CD of music excerpts. Here is both the original Italian and English translation. QUICKLY (inchinandosi profondamente) Reverenza!

QUICKLY (with a deep bow to Falstaff) Your Grace!

FALSTAFF Buon giorno, buona donna.

FALSTAFF Good day, my good woman.

QUICKLY Reverenza! (avvicinandosi con gran rispetto e cautela) Se Vostra Grazia vuole, vorrei, segretamente, dirle quattro parole.

QUICKLY Your Grace! (drawing near, cautious, respectful) If it please your grace, I should like a word with you, alone.

FALSTAFF T’accordo udienza. (a Bardolfo e Pistola, rimasti nel fondo) Escite. (Escono facendo sberleffi.)

FALSTAFF I grant you audience. (to Bardolph and Pistol, who are eavesdropping from the door) Away with you. (They go out, making faces.)



QUICKLY Reverenza! Madonna Alice Ford...

QUICKLY Yours Grace! Mistress Alice Ford...

FALSTAFF Ah!...Ebben?

FALSTAFF Ah!...Well?

QUICKLY Ahimè! Povera donna! Siete un gran seduttore!

QUICKLY Alas! Poor woman! You are a great seducer!

FALSTAFF Lo so. Continua.

FALSTAFF I know. Continue.

QUICKLY Alice sta in grande agitazione d’amor per voi; vi dice ch’ebbe la vostra lettera, che vi ringrazia e che suo marito esce sempre dalle due alle tre.

QUICKLY Alice is quite upset for love of you. She sends word that she’s got your letter, she thanks you, and her husband is always out from two o’clock until three.

FALSTAFF Dalle due alle tre.

FALSTAFF From two o’clock until three.

QUICKLY Vostra Grazia a quell’ora potrà liberamente salir ove dimora la bella Alice. Povera donna! Le angoscie sue son crudeli! Ha un marito geloso!

QUICKLY At that time, your Grace can freely go to lovely Alice’s house. Poor woman! Her suffering is most cruel! She has a jealous husband!

FALSTAFF Dalle due alle tre. Le dirai che impaziente aspetto quell’ora. Al mio dover non mancherò.

FALSTAFF From two o’clock until three. Tell her that I await the hour with impatience. I shall not be wanting in my duty.

QUICKLY Ben detto. Ma c’è un’altra ambasciata per Vostra Grazia.

QUICKLY Well said. But I have still another message for your Grace.



QUICKLY La bella Meg (un angelo che innamora a guardarla) anch’essa vi saluta molto amorosamente, dice che suo marito è assai di rado assente. Povera donna! Un giglio di candore e di fé! Voi le stregate tutte.

QUICKLY The lovely Meg (an angel; to see her is to love her), she too greets you warmly; she says her husband’s rarely absent. Poor thing! A lily of truth, of faith! You bewitch them all.

FALSTAFF Stregoneria non c’è, ma un certo qual mio fascino personal. Dimmi: l’altra sa di quest’altra?

FALSTAFF There’s no witchery – just a certain personal fascination. Tell me, the other one knows of this other?

QUICKLY Oibò! La donna nasce scaltra. Non temete.

QUICKLY Imagine! Women are born deceivers. Fear not.

FALSTAFF (cercando nella sua borsa) Or ti vo’ remunerar...

FALSTAFF (searching in his purse) Let me give you something...

QUICKLY Chi semina grazie, raccoglie amor.

QUICKLY He who sows favors, reaps love.

FALSTAFF (estraendo una moneta e porgendola a Quickly) Prendi, Mercurio-femmina. (congedandola col gesto) Saluta le due dame.

FALSTAFF (takes out a coin and hands it to Quickly) Take this, Dame Mercury. (dismissing her with a gesture) My greetings to the two ladies.

QUICKLY M’inchino. (Esce.)

QUICKLY Your Grace. (She goes out.)

This section is just the English translation. FALSTAFF (alone) Alice is mine! Go, old Jack, go thy ways. This old hide of thine still holds some sweetness for thee. All women are in a whirl to damn their souls for me! Good body of Sir John, which I nourish to satiety, I thank thee!

FORD In me you see a man well supplied with life’s comforts; a man who spends freely, throwing money about, seeking pleasure in this life. My name is Brook! FALSTAFF My dear Mr. Brook! I hope to get to know you better.

BARDOLPH (entering) Master, there is a certain Mister Brook outside who wishes to meet you. He has with him a demijohn of Cyprian wine for Your Grace’s thirst.

FORD My dear Sir John, I wish to speak to you in confidence.

FALSTAFF His name is Brook?

BARDOLPH (softly, to Pistol) Watch, now!



FALSTAFF Welcome indeed that brook which flows with wine! Show him in. (Bardolph goes out.) Go, old Jack, go thy ways. (Ford, disguised, enters escorted by Bardolph, who stops at the doorway to bow as Ford passes. Then Pistol enters, bearing a demijohn, which he places on the table. Pistol and Bardolph stay in the background. Ford is carrying a small bag in his hand.)

BARDOLPH Look! I bet he goes straight into the trap.

FORD (bowing deeply, then advancing towards Falstaff) My lord, may Heaven bless you! FALSTAFF (returning the bow) And Heaven bless you too, sir. FORD I am indeed most indiscreet; I ask your pardon for coming like this, without due ceremony, omitting proper perambulations. FALSTAFF You are welcome.

PISTOL Ford’s going to snare him. BARDOLPH Quiet! PISTOL Quiet! FALSTAFF (to Bardolph and Pistol) What are you two doing there? (Bardolph and Pistol leave. To Ford:) I am listening. FORD I am encouraged to speak by a well-known proverb, which says that gold can open all doors, that gold is a talisman, that gold conquers all. FALSTAFF Gold is a stout captain who marches boldly forward.



FORD Well, then, here is a bag of money; it weighs heavily upon me. Sir John, if you wish to help me carry it...

FORD I shall explain. You are a gentleman – gallant, shrewd, resourceful, a soldier, a man of the world.

FALSTAFF (takes the bag and puts it on the table) With pleasure. I don’t know, however, why you have chosen me, Sir...


FORD I’ll tell you. Here at Windsor, there is a lady, beautiful, comely. Her name is Alice; she’s the wife of a certain Ford. FALSTAFF I am listening. FORD I love her: she doesn’t love me. I write to her: she doesn’t answer; I look at her: she doesn’t see me; I seek her: she hides. On her, I have wasted a fortune, with gift after gift. Trembling, I have tried all I could think of. Alas, in vain! I remained on the stairs, alone, dry-mouthed, singing my madrigal. FALSTAFF Love, love, which never gives us peace our whole life... FORD, FALSTAFF ...through, ...is like a shadow... ...which you flee... ...yet it follows you... ...and if you follow it... ...it flees... Love, love! FORD I’ve paid a fortune to learn this madrigal. FALSTAFF Such is the poor lover’s fatal destiny. FORD Love, love gives no truce... FALSTAFF She never encouraged you? FORD No. FALSTAFF But why do you tell all this to me?

FORD This isn’t flattery. There’s a bag of gold. Spend it! Spend it! Yes, spend my whole fortune! Be rich and happy! But in exchange, you must win Alice for me! FALSTAFF A strange request! FORD I shall explain: this cruel beauty has always lived in utter chastity. Her importunate virtue has blinded me. This unvanquished woman says: woe if you touch me! But if you conquer her, then I, too, can hope. One sin begets another, then...what do you say? FALSTAFF First, sir, to speak frankly, I accept the money. Then (my word as a gentleman – your hand!) I’ll satisfy your desire. You shall have Ford’s wife. FORD Thank you! FALSTAFF I’m already well on the way; (I can be frank with you). In half an hour, she will be in my arms. FORD Who?... FALSTAFF Alice. She just sent a...a lady, to tell me that her fool of a husband is always out from two o’clock until three. FORD From two until three. Do you know him? FALSTAFF May the devil carry him off to hell with his forbear Menelaus! That lout, that lout! You’ll see! You’ll see! I’ll cuckold him for you, neatly! If he disturbs me I’ll pound his horns until he sees fireworks! This Mister Ford’s an ox! An ox! I’ll fix him for you. You’ll see, you’ll see! I’ll cuckold him for you, neatly, neatly, neatly! It’s getting late. Wait here. I must tidy up. (He takes the bag of money and goes out.)

This section is Track 5 on the CD of music excerpts. Here is both the original Italian and English translation. FORD (solo) È sogno? o realtà?... Due rami enormi crescon sulla mia testa. È un sogno? Mastro Ford! Mastro Ford! Dormi? Svegliati! Su! Ti desta! Tua moglie sgarra e mette in mal’assetto l’onor tuo, la tua casa ed il tuo letto! L’ora è fissata, tramato l’inganno; sei gabbato e truffato! E poi diranno che un marito geloso è un insensato! Già dietro a me nomi d’infame conio fischian passando; mormora lo scherno. O matrimonio: Inferno! Donna: Demonio! Nella lor moglie abbian fede i babbei! Affiderei la mia birra a un tedesco, tutto il mio desco a un olandese lurco, la mia bottiglia d’acquavite a un turco, non mia moglie a sé stessa. O laida sorte! Quella brutta parola in cor mi torna: Le corna! Bue! Capron! le fusa torte! Ah! le corna! le corna! Ma non mi sfuggirai! no! sozzo, reo, dannato epicureo! Prima li accoppio e poi li colgo... Io scoppio! Vendicherò l’affronto! Laudata sempre sia nel fondo del mio cor la gelosia.

FORD (alone) Is this a dream? Or reality? Two enormous horns are sprouting on my head. Is this a dream? Master Ford! Master Ford! Are you asleep? Wake up! Come! Wake up! Your wife wantons, bringing shame upon your honor, your house, your bed! The hour is set, the betrayal planned. And you’re made a fool, a gullible fool! And yet they say a jealous husband’s a madman! Already, as I pass, the infamous names will sound behind me, the scornful laughter. Oh, marriage: a hell! Oh, woman: a devil! Let fools trust their wives! Better to trust a German with my beer, a greedy Dutchman with my table, a Turk with my aquavitae, but not my wife alone! O loathsome fate! That ugly word keeps coming back to my heart: cuckold! Ox! Goat! Twisted horns! Ah, cuckold! Cuckold! But you shall not escape! No! Filthy villain, damnable rake! I’ll get them together first, then I’ll catch them. I’m bursting! I’ll have revenge! Praised be forever jealousy, deep in my heart.

This section is just the English translation. (Falstaff enters. He is wearing a new jacket and a hat and carries a walking-stick.)

FORD No – you first.

FALSTAFF Here I am. I’m ready. Will you walk with me a way?

FALSTAFF It’s getting late – I must get on.

FORD I’ll see you on your road. (They start out. At the door, each tries to let the other pass.)

FORD Please, really.

FALSTAFF After you. FORD After you. FALSTAFF No – this is my house. Please pass.

FALSTAFF Please pass. FORD Please! FALSTAFF Please pass!



FORD Please! FALSTAFF, then with FORD Well, then, let’s go together. (He takes Ford by the arm and they go out together.)

Part Two A room in Ford’s house. Upstage, a great window overlooking the garden. Doors right and left, and two doors at the back in the corners of the room, opening on to stairs. A folding screen stands against the wall, left, beside a huge fireplace. A wardrobe against the right wall. A low table. A chest. Along the walls, an armchair and several benches. On the armchair, a lute. On the table, a vase of flowers. (Alice and Meg enter, laughing: Nannetta enters with them but stands sadly aside.) ALICE Let’s present a bill in Parliament – a tax on fat men. QUICKLY (entering) Ladies! ALICE Well? MEG What is it? QUICKLY He will be beaten! ALICE Splendid. QUICKLY We’ll soon have our sport with him! ALICE, MEG Good! QUICKLY He fell head-first into the trap. ALICE Tell me about it, hurry. MEG, then ALICE Hurry.

QUICKLY When I arrived at the Garter, I asked to be admitted to the Knight’s presence, to have a word in secret. Sir John deigns to grant me audience. He receives me with a swagger: “Good day, my good woman.” “Your Grace,” and I curtsy, most humbly, before going on to the juicy tidings. He drinks it all in, swallowing every last drop of nonsense. Well, to make it short, he’s convinced that both of you are madly in love with his charms. (to Alice) You’ll soon see him at your feet. ALICE When? QUICKLY Today, here – from two o’clock until three. MEG, then ALICE, QUICKLY From two until three! ALICE It’s already two o’clock. (running to the door, she calls:) Ho! Ned! Will! (to Quickly) I have prepared everything. (She calls out again.) Bring the laundry-basket. QUICKLY This will be great! ALICE Nannetta – you don’t laugh? What’s wrong? (coming near and caressing her) You’re crying? What is it? Tell mother. NANNETTA (sobbing) Father... ALICE Yes? NANNETTA ...Father... says I must marry Dr Caius! ALICE That pedant? QUICKLY Oh, no! MEG That ass! ALICE That idiot!

NANNETTA That grandfather! ALICE, then MEG, QUICKLY No! No! No! No! NANNETTA I’d rather be stoned to death... ALICE With a volley of cabbages. QUICKLY Well said! MEG Good girl! ALICE Never fear. NANNETTA Oh, good! I’ll never marry Dr Caius! (Meanwhile the servants come in, carrying a basket filled with soiled laundry.)

ALICE (to the servants) Put it there. Then, when I call you, empty the basket in the gutter. NANNETTA Boom! ALICE Quiet! (to the servants) You can go now. (The servants leave.) NANNETTA What a bombardment! ALICE Let’s set the stage. A chair here. NANNETTA My lute here. ALICE Let’s open the screen. (Nannetta and Meg take the screen, open it and set it up between the fireplace and the basket.) Splendid! Like that – no, a little more. The play is about to commence!

This section is Track 6 on the CD of music excerpts. Here is both the original Italian and English translation. Gaie comari di Windsor! È l’ora! L’ora d’alzar la risata sonora! L’alta risata che scoppia, che scherza, che sfolgora, armata di dardi e di sferza! Gaie comari! festosa brigata! Sul lieto viso spunti il sorriso, splenda del riso l’acuto fulgor! Favilla incendiaria di gioia nell’aria, di gioia nel cor. (a Meg) A noi! Tu la parte farai che ti spetta.

My merry wives of Windsor! The hour has come! The hour of resounding laughter, of laughter which explodes at the joke, flashing laughter, armed with barbs and whiplash! Merry wives! Laughing band! Let your faces light up with a smile, then roar with laughter, the fire of our mirth, of the mirth in the air, to the mirth in our hearts. (to Meg) It’s up to us! You must play your part.

MEG (ad Alice) Tu corri il tuo rischio col grosso compar.

MEG (to Alice) You must risk your all with our monstrous friend.

QUICKLY Io sto alla vedetta.

QUICKLY While I keep watch.

ALICE (a Quickly) Se sbagli ti fischio.

ALICE (to Quickly) If you blunder, I’ll whistle.

NANNETTA Io resto in disparte sull’uscio a spiar.

NANNETTA I shall stay here at the door, to spy.

ALICE E mostreremo all’uom che l’allegria d’oneste donne ogni onestà comporta. Fra le femmine quella è la più ria che fa la gattamorta.

ALICE We’ll show the man that the sport of proper women is quite proper too. The worst of women is the one who plays the saint.



ALICE, MEG, NANNETTA Gaie comari di Windsor, ecc.

ALICE, MEG, NANNETTA My merry wives of Windsor, etc.

QUICKLY (guardando dalla finestra) Eccolo! È lui!

QUICKLY (from the window) There he is! It’s he!

ALICE Dov’è?

ALICE Where is he?

QUICKLY Poco discosto.




QUICKLY A salir s’avvia.

QUICKLY He’s about to come up the stairs.

ALICE (prima a Nannetta poi a Meg) Tu di qua. Tu di là. Al posto!

ALICE (first to Nannetta, then to Meg) You, here. You, over there. Take your places!

NANNETTA Al posto! (Esce correndo.)

NANNETTA Take your places! (runs out)

MEG, poi QUICKLY Al posto! (Escono correndo. Alice si siede alla tavola, prende il liuto e tocca qualche accordo.)

MEG, then QUICKLY Take your places! (They run out. Alice has sat down at the table. Then, taking up the lute, she plays a few chords.)

This section is Track 7 on the CD of music excerpts. Here is both the original Italian and English translation. FALSTAFF (entrando) Alfin t’ho colto, raggiante fior, t’ho colto! (Prende Alice, che ora s’è alzata, pel busto.) Ed or potrò morir felice. Avrò vissuto molto dopo quest’ora di beato amor.

FALSTAFF (entering) At last I pluck thee, o radiant flower, now I shall pluck thee! (He takes Alice, who by now has stood up, by the waist.) Now I can die happy. After this hour of blessed love, I shall have lived indeed.

ALICE O soave Sir John!

ALICE O sweet Sir John!

FALSTAFF Mia bella Alice! Non so far lo svenevole, né lusingar, né usar frase fiorita, ma dirò tosto un mio pensier colpevole.

FALSTAFF My lovely Alice! I’m not a man to swoon nor faint, nor flatter, speak flowery phrases, but I must confess one guilty thought.


ALICE Which is?

FALSTAFF Cioè: Vorrei che Mastro Ford passasse a miglior vita...

FALSTAFF Which is this – I wish Master Ford might pass on to a better life.

ALICE Perché?

ALICE And why?

FALSTAFF Perché? Lo chiedi? Saresti la mia Lady e Falstaff il tuo Lord.

FALSTAFF Why? You ask me why! Then you would be my Lady, and Falstaff would be your Lord!

ALICE Povera Lady inver!

ALICE Poor Lady Indeed!

FALSTAFF Degna d’un re. T’immagino fregiata del mio stemma, mostrar fra gemma e gemma la pompa del tuo sen. Nell’iri ardente e mobile dei rai dell’adamante, col picciol piè nel nobile cerchio d’un guardinfante risplenderai più fulgida d’un ampio arcobalen.

FALSTAFF Worthy of a king. I see you now, decked with my noble crest – the majesty of your bosom resplendent in my gems, in the flashing fire of a diamond, your tiny feet encircled by a noblewoman’s crinoline, beautifully shining, brighter than the rainbow.

ALICE Ogni più bel gioiel mi nuoce e spregio il finto idolo d’or. Mi basta un vel legato in croce, un fregio al cinto e in testa un fior.

ALICE Every jewel dims my beauty – I hate false, golden idols. I need but a veil, some bauble at my waist, a flower in my hair.



ALICE Adulator!

ALICE Flatterer!

FALSTAFF Soli noi siamo e non temiamo agguato.

FALSTAFF We are alone, we need fear no surprise.

ALICE Ebben?


FALSTAFF Io t’amo!

FALSTAFF I love you!

ALICE Voi siete nel peccato!

ALICE But this is a sin!

FALSTAFF Sempre l’amor l’occasione azzecca.

FALSTAFF Love never lets a chance escape.

ALICE Sir John!

ALICE Sir John!

FALSTAFF Chi segue vocazion non pecca. T’amo! e non è mia colpa...

FALSTAFF Who follows his heart doesn’t sin. I love you – it is not my fault...

ALICE (interrompendolo) Se tanta avete vulnerabil polpa.

ALICE (interrupting him) If flesh be weak, with all of yours.

FALSTAFF Quand’ero paggio del Duca di Norfolk ero sottile, sottile, sottile, ero un miraggio vago, leggiero, gentile. Quello era il tempo del mio verde aprile, quello era il tempo del mio lieto maggio. Tant’era smilzo, flessibile e snello che sarei guizzato attraverso un anello.

FALSTAFF When I was page to the Duke of Norfolk, I was slender, a mirage, light and fair, gentle, gentle. That was my verdant April season, the joyous Maytime of my life. Then I was so lean, so lithe, so slender, you could have slipped me through a ring.



This section is just the English translation. ALICE You are joking. I fear your deceit. I fear you love... FALSTAFF Whom? ALICE ...Meg. FALSTAFF Her? I cannot stand her face. ALICE Do not be false, John. FALSTAFF It seems I’ve waited a thousand years to hold you in my arms. (pursuing her and trying to hug her) I love you.

ALICE Behind the screen. (Falstaff squeezes in behind the screen. Once he is concealed, Quickly signals to Meg, who is behind the door. Meg comes in, feigning great agitation. Quickly goes out.) MEG Alice! What a fright! What a tumult! What quarrelling! Don’t lose a moment – run away! ALICE Mercy! What has happened? MEG Your husband is coming on the run, shouting “Help!” He says... ALICE Speak louder.

ALICE (defending herself) Please!

MEG That he’s going to cudgel some man!


ALICE Don’t laugh.

QUICKLY (calling from the next room) Madam Alice!

MEG He was running, blinded with fury! He was damning all the daughters of Eve!

FALSTAFF Who goes there? QUICKLY (entering, pretending great agitation) Madam Alice! ALICE What is it? QUICKLY Milady! Here’s Mistress Meg. She wants to see you. She’s out of breath, shouting, angry. FALSTAFF To the devil with her! QUICKLY She wants to come in. I can’t hold her back... FALSTAFF Where can I hide?

ALICE Mercy on me! MEG He says you’ve a lover hidden here, and that he’ll find him no matter what the cost. QUICKLY (returning in a great fright) Mistress Alice! Master Ford is coming! Save yourself! He’s storming with anger! He thunders, he lightens, he beats himself on the head, he’s shouting threats, yelling... ALICE (to Quickly) Really, or is this part of the joke? QUICKLY It’s true. Now he’s climbing the garden hedge... a crowd is with him... he’s almost here... now he’s coming into the house.

FORD (shouting, from within) Villain!

ALICE We must find a way to get him out of here.

FALSTAFF The devil rides on a fiddle-bow!

MEG In the basket.

FORD (entering and shouting to his men) Close the doors! Block the stairs! On to the hunt! Drive out the wild pig! (Caius and Fenton enter on the run.) Follow the trail, keep to the scent! (to Fenton) You search the hallways.

ALICE No, he won’t fit. He’s too big. FALSTAFF (hurrying to the basket) Let’s see; yes, I fit, I fit.

BARDOLPH, PISTOL (running in and shouting) To the hunt!

ALICE I’m going to call the servants. (She goes out.)

FORD (to Bardolph and Pistol) Don’t let them escape! Search that room! (Bardolph and Pistol run into the next room, with cudgels ready.)

MEG (pretending surprise) Sir John! You, here? You?

ALICE (to Ford) Are you mad? What are you doing? FORD Who is in that basket? ALICE The wash. FORD What a washing I get from you, evil wife! (He hands a bunch of keys to Caius.) You, take these keys, go through the chests – be quick! (turning again to Alice) What a washing you give me! To the devil with these rags! Shut the gate in the garden! (He pulls out the soiled linen and scatters it about, searching like a madman among the clothes.) Shirts – skirts – I’ll smoke you out, rascal! Rags! Away, away! Torn caps! I’ll smoke you out. Sheets – nightcaps – He isn’t there!

FALSTAFF (climbing into the basket) I love you! I love only you... Save me! Save me! QUICKLY (covering him with clothes) Quick! QUICKLY, then MEG Hurry! FALSTAFF (forcing himself in with a great effort) Ah!...Ah!...I’m in...cover me... QUICKLY (to Meg) Hurry, fill the basket! (While the two of them are busy hiding Falstaff, Nannetta and Fenton enter.) NANNETTA (to Fenton) Come here. FENTON What a racket!

ALICE, MEG, QUICKLY What a hurricane!

NANNETTA What a cackling! Follow me!

FORD (running out left) We’ll look under the bed, in the oven, in the well, in the bath, on the roof, in the cellar.

FENTON A madhouse!

MEG He’s raving mad.

NANNETTA Here all are mad, each for a different reason. They are mad with rage.

QUICKLY Let’s play for time.

FENTON And we with love.



NANNETTA Follow me. Slowly. (She leads him behind the screen.)

FORD But I swear the man is here. I’m sure! Sure! Sure!

FENTON No one has seen me.

CAIUS Sir John! I shall laugh on that day when I see you hanged!

NANNETTA We’ve reached port. FENTON We are alone!

FORD (suddenly attacking the wardrobe, trying to open it) Give yourself up, rascal! Give up, or I’ll bombard the walls!

NANNETTA Be still – and on your guard.

CAIUS (trying to open the wardrobe with a key) Give yourself up!

FENTON (embracing her) Come to my arms!

FORD Come out! Coward! Lecher!

NANNETTA May this screen...

BARDOLPH, PISTOL (from the door) No one!

NANNETTA, FENTON ...be forever blessed!

FORD Keep on searching! Give yourself up! Scoundrel! (He succeeds at last in opening the wardrobe.) He’s not here!

CAIUS (outside, shouting) Stop thief! FORD (shouting) Stop the lecher! CAIUS (entering) Tear him apart! FORD Stop thief! (Bardolph and Pistol run in.) Is he there? PISTOL No. FORD (to Bardolph) Is he there? BARDOLPH No, he’s not here. FORD I’ll turn the house upside down. (Bardolph and Pistol run out.) CAIUS (having looked into the fireplace) I don’t see anyone.

CAIUS (opening the chest) Come out! He’s not here, either. (He goes about the room, searching everywhere.) Glutton! Sot! Beware! FORD (opens even the tiny drawer of the table) Coward! Liar! CAIUS, FORD Coward! Liar! Rascal! (Nannetta and Fenton kiss each other audibly.) FORD There he is! CAIUS There he is! FORD (slowly, silently, approaching the screen) If I get my hands on you! CAIUS If I catch you! FORD If I get you!

CAIUS If I catch you!

BARDOLPH Dirty, cursed dog!

FORD I’ll crush you!

FORD, then CAIUS, PISTOL Silence!

CAIUS I’ll hook you like a dog!

FALSTAFF (putting his head out of the basket) I am drowning!

FORD I’ll smash your snout.

QUICKLY (thrusting him back in) Stay down!

CAIUS Woe to you!

FALSTAFF I’m drowning!

FORD Pray to your saint!

MEG And now he complains!

QUICKLY (to Meg) Let’s pretend to be working on the wash – if only he doesn’t betray us with an unforeseen move. Until now, he’s seen nothing; he can surprise us, perhaps, but confound us, never.

QUICKLY (bends down as she speaks to Falstaff) If someone sees you, you’re as good as dead.

CAIUS Beware if I fight with you! If only I catch you! FORD If I get my hands on you! MEG (to Quickly) We’ll make him a barrier in all of this rioting. In games, even danger is an added dash of pepper. Risk is a pleasure which adds to our zest, and awakens within us both our spirits and our hearts. CAIUS If I catch you! FORD If I get you!

FORD You can shout later. There, I heard the smack of a kiss! BARDOLPH We must catch the mouse while he’s nibbling at the cheese. FORD Let’s think it through. FENTON (to Nannetta from behind the screen) Pretty girl! Laughing girl! Oh, how you come in answer to my prayer, so like a woman! The first time I saw you, I fell in love; and now you smile because you know it is true.

BARDOLPH (entering) He’s nowhere to be found.

NANNETTA (to Fenton) While these old folks are busy at their joust, we, safe in our nook, are busy at ours, too. Love has no ears for thunder and storm, it flies up to heaven to find its blessed joys.

PISTOL (as he enters with neighbors) We haven’t caught him.

FORD I shall not strike a blow without a proper battle-plan.

FORD (to Bardolph and Pistol and the neighbors) Psst! All of you – over here. (pointing to the screen) I’ve found my man. There, there’s Falstaff with my wife.




CAIUS A man like him can cut us down with a breath.

FENTON Between your lashes I see two beacons, wondrously shining, serene and bright.

FORD But first you must understand my master tactic. (to Pistol and two others who are with him) You will be my right wing. (to Bardolph and Caius) And we shall be the left wing. While they, with courageous foot, will kick down the rampart.

FORD (to Caius, as he puts his ear to the screen) Listen, put your ear here! What pathetic cries! Over this lovebirds’ nest, the thunder will crash!

FENTON A beautiful dream of a wedding is dawning.

BARDOLPH (to Pistol) It is the voice of the woman who answers to her lover.

NANNETTA The tiny sprite of love hovers over us. BARDOLPH, PISTOL, SERVANTS Bravo! CAIUS Bravo, General! We’re waiting for your signal. FALSTAFF (from beneath the wash) I am cooked! MEG Stay down! FALSTAFF It’s hot! QUICKLY Stay down! FALSTAFF I’m melting! MEG Our rascal wants a fan!

CAIUS (to Ford, as he puts his ear to the screen) I hear, I understand, I see clearly now how deceitful women are. PISTOL (to Bardolph) But soon this game will end with a moral. He sings now, but in a moment he’ll sing another song. NEIGHBORS If he once falls, he’ll not escape, and none can save him. Go to join your devil, but don’t try to escape us! MEG (to Quickly) Let us speak softly, as we watch over the Knight, who is muttering and cooking here in our basket. QUICKLY (to Meg) He has so dirtied himself with every kind of sin that to send him out with the wash is a kindness we show him. FALSTAFF (spluttering) Ouff! Filthy basket! ALICE (re-entering and standing near the basket) Be still!

FALSTAFF (with nose protruding, he beseeches them) A little breath of air – I ask no more.

FALSTAFF I protest!

QUICKLY I’ll muzzle you if you aren’t silent.

MEG, QUICKLY What a skittish animal!

MEG, QUICKLY (pushing him back into the clothes) Down! Down!

FALSTAFF Carry me away!

NANNETTA All is madness, laughter, sighs. The face smiles, but the heart heaves a sigh. Sweet music of love.

MEG He’s raving mad!

FALSTAFF Help! FENTON Tell me you love me! NANNETTA Yes, I love you! FENTON I love you! FORD Silence! Here goes! The moment has come. Silence! Pay attention to me. CAIUS Give us the signal. FORD One...two...three! (They overturn the screen. Nannetta and Fenton are discovered and embarrassed.) CAIUS It’s not Falstaff! ALL THE MEN Horror! ALICE, MEG, QUICKLY It’s the end of the world! NANNETTA, FENTON Oh! FORD (raging at Nannetta) You have disobeyed me again! (to Fenton) You, tend to your business! I have told you a thousand times: she is not for you. (Nannetta, frightened, runs out; Fenton leaves.) BARDOLPH, PISTOL There he is! Stop him! FORD Where? BARDOLPH, PISTOL There! On the stairs! FORD Tear him to bits! CAIUS, PISTOL, BARDOLPH, SERVANTS To the hunt!

QUICKLY What a devilish hunt! (All the men run up the stairs.) ALICE Ned! Will! Tom! Isaac! Come! Hurry! Hurry! (Nannetta comes in with four servants and a page.) Empty this basket out through the window, into the ditch. There – near the reeds, where those washerwomen are. MEG, QUICKLY, NANNETTA Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! (The servants find the basket very heavy.) NANNETTA (to the servants) There’s a big piece in there. ALICE (to the page, who goes out) You – call my husband. (to Meg) We shall tell him this mad story. Just to see the Knight in the sludge ought to cure him of his jealousy. QUICKLY (to the servants) Heave ho! ALICE, MEG (to the servants) Courage! NANNETTA I heard the bottom go “crack”! MEG, QUICKLY, NANNETTA Up! (The servants manage to carry the basket to the window.) ALICE Triumph! MEG, QUICKLY, NANNETTA Triumph! Ha! Ha! (The basket, Falstaff and the wash go hurtling down from the window.) ALICE What a thud! NANNETTA, MEG What a thud! ALL Patatrac! (A great shout, followed by the shrill laughter of the women outside. Then Alice, Nannetta, Meg and Quickly burst into loud laughter. Ford returns with the other men. When Alice sees Ford, she takes him by the arm and leads him quickly to the win-



This section is Track 8 on the CD of music excerpts. Here is both the original Italian and English translation.

Atto Terzo, Prima parte

Act III, Part One

Una piazzale A destra, l’esterno dell’osteria della Giarrettiera coll’insegna e il motto: “Honi soit qui mal y pense”. È l’ora del tramonto. (Falstaff è seduto sulla panca di fianco al portone.)

A square To the right, façade of the Garter Inn, bearing the motto: “Honi soit qui mal y pense”. It is sunset. (Falstaff is sitting on a bench beside the door.)

FALSTAFF (solo) Ehi! Taverniere! Mondo ladro. Mondo rubaldo. Reo mondo! (Entra l’oste.) Tavernier: un bicchier di vin caldo. (L’oste parte per eseguire l’ordine.) Io, dunque, avrò vissuto tanti anni, audace e destro Cavaliere, per essere portato in un canestro e gittato al canale co’ pannilini biechi, come si fa coi gatti e i catellini ciechi. Che se non galleggiava per me quest’epa tronfia, certo affogavo. Brutta morte. L’acqua mi gonfia. Mondo reo. Non c’è più virtù. Tutto declina. Va, vecchio John, va, va per la tua via; cammina finché tu muoia. Allor scomparirà la vera virilità dal mondo. Che giornataccia nera! M’aiuti il ciel! Impinguo troppo. Ho dei peli grigi. (Ritorna l’oste portando su d’un vassoio un gran bicchiere di vin caldo. Lo posa e poi parte.) Versiamo un po’ di vino nell’acqua del Tamigi. (Beve sorseggiando ed assaporando. Si sbottona il panciotto, si sdraia, ribeve a sorsate, rianimandosi poco a poco.)

FALSTAFF (alone) Ho! Innkeeper! Thieving world! Rascally world! Evil world! (The innkeeper comes in.) Host – a glass of mulled wine. (The innkeeper leaves.) I, then, having lived so long as a brave and skillful Knight, end up carried in a clothes-basket, tossed in the river with the stinking wash, like a kitten or a still blind pup. Without this buoyant paunch, I’d surely have drowned. A nasty death. Water swells me! Evil world! There’s no honor left, all goes to pot. Go, old Jack, go thy ways; travel until thou’rt dead. Then true manliness will be gone from the world. What a black day! Heaven help me! I’m getting fat. I’m going grey. (The innkeeper returns, bringing a huge glass of steaming wine. He sets the glass on the bench and goes out.) Let’s mix a bit of wine with the water of the Thames. (He drinks the wine, sipping and savoring it. He unbuttons his waistcoat, lies back and continues sipping the wine. His spirits brighten.)

Buono. Ber del vin dolce e sbottonarsi al sole, dolce cosa! Il buon vino sperde le tetre fole dello sconforto, accende l’occhio e il pensier, dal labbro sale al cervel e quivi risveglia il picciol fabbro dei trilli; un negro grillo che vibra entro l’uom brillo. Trilla ogni fibra in cor, l’allegro etere al trillo guizza e il giocondo globo squilibra una demenza trillante! E il trillo invade il mondo!!!

Good. To loosen one’s vest in the sun and drink sweet wine. A sweet thing! Good wine chases away the gloomy thoughts of sorrow, lights up the eye and one’s thoughts; from the lips it rises to the brain, wakening the fairy smith of trills, a black cricket who sings in the reeling brain, waking to trills every fiber of the heart. The joyous air quivers to the trill, a thrilling madness intoxicates the happy globe, the trill quivers through the entire world!

This section is just the English translation. (Quickly enters, bowing and interrupting him.) QUICKLY Your Grace! The fair Alice... FALSTAFF To the devil with you and your fair Alice! I’ve had a basinful of the two of you! I’ve my belly full of the two of you!

QUICKLY You misunderstand... FALSTAFF The devil! I still feel the horns of that jealous, cuckold goat! My bones still ache from lying cramped in that sewing-basket, doubled like a good Spanish blade. What a swelter! What a stink! A man of my temper, melting away all the time, distempered drop by drop. Then, when I’m cooked, red-hot, incandescent, quenched in the river! Rascals!

(Alice, Meg, Nannetta, Ford and Caius appear, one by one, from behind the house to spy, unseen by Falstaff, They peep out, disappear, then peep out again.) QUICKLY She is innocent. She is innocent. You are mistaken. FALSTAFF Get out! QUICKLY It’s the fault of those shameful knaves! Alice weeps, shouts, invokes the saints. Poor woman! She loves you. Read this. (She takes a letter from her pocket. Falstaff accepts it and begins to read.)

QUICKLY When the clock strikes twelve... FORD He’s falling. QUICKLY ...with a sombre clang in the ghostly quiet, wandering spirits arise in throngs... (entering the inn with Falstaff)

ALICE (explaining to the others, softly) He’s reading.

ALICE (coming forward with the others and taking up the story) When the clock strikes twelve with a sombre clang in the ghostly quiet, wandering spirits arise in throngs and the Black Huntsman enters the park. Slowly, slowly, slowly, he walks, with the weary step of the dead. With livid face he advances...

FORD He’s reading.

NANNETTA Oh! How frightening!

NANNETTA You’ll see, he’ll fall for it again.

MEG I’m already chilled with fright!

ALICE Men never learn.

ALICE It’s nonsense which grandmas tell to the children at bedtime, spinning it out long to get them to sleep.

MEG (to Alice) Hide. CAIUS He’s reading it again. FORD He’s reading it again. He’ll bite. FALSTAFF (reading aloud) “I shall wait for you in the Royal Park at midnight. Come to Herne’s Oak, disguised as the Black Huntsman.” QUICKLY Love loves mystery. For your next meeting Alice is using a folk legend. Herne’s Oak is the tryst of goblins. The Black Huntsman hanged himself from a branch. They say he comes back. FALSTAFF (relieved, takes Quickly by the arm and walks with her towards the inn) Let us go indoors. There we can talk better. What’s this old wives’ tale?

ALICE, MEG, NANNETTA Women’s revenge must never fail. ALICE With livid face he comes to the tree, where he gave up his evil ghost. Then the fairies appear. Upon his head are two long, long, long horns... FORD Splendid! Those horns will be my delight! ALICE (to Ford) Take care! You, too, deserve some punishment! FORD Forgive me. I have confessed my fault. ALICE Woe unto you, if ever again you give in to this beastly mania of searching for your wife’s lover in walnut shells. But time’s getting short, we must be quick.


Oh, how wonderful! How delightful and spooky!


MEG Let’s hurry. FENTON Let’s plan the masquerade. ALICE Nannetta! NANNETTA Here I am! ALICE (to Nannetta) You’ll be the Fairy Queen, all in white, with a pure white veil and a garland of roses. NANNETTA I shall sing sweet songs. ALICE (to Meg) You’ll be a green wood-nymph, and Quickly will be...a witch. (Evening is coming on, the scene darkens.) NANNETTA Oh, wonderful! ALICE I shall bring some children dressed like imps, like sprites, like devils, like bats, like demons. We’ll fall upon old Falstaff, in his cape and horns... MEG, NANNETTA, FENTON All of us! All of us! ALICE ...until he has owned up to being a lecherous fool. Then we’ll unmask and just before dawn we’ll go laughing home. MEG Night is falling, let’s go home. ALICE We’ll meet, then, at Herne’s Oak. FENTON Agreed.

ALICE, NANNETTA, FENTON Goodbye. MEG Goodbye. ALICE (to Meg) You bring the lanterns. (Alice, Nannetta and Fenton go out, just as Quickly comes out of the Garter. She notices Ford and Caius, who are talking together; she stops to listen.) FORD Have no fear: you will marry my daughter. You remember how she’ll be dressed? CAIUS In a white dress and veil, with a garland of roses. ALICE (offstage) Don’t forget the masks! MEG (offstage) Certainly not. Don’t forget the crickets! FORD I have already spread my net. At the end, both of you will come to me – she in her veil, you cowled like a monk. And I shall bless you as man and wife. CAIUS We’re agreed. (They leave.) QUICKLY You wait! (She goes out rapidly.) Nannetta! Oh Nannetta! Nannetta! Oh! NANNETTA (offstage) What is it? What is it? QUICKLY Prepare the Fairy’s song. NANNETTA It’s ready. ALICE (offstage) Remember – don’t be late.

NANNETTA QUICKLY (far off) The first one there waits for the others! (Night has fallen.)

This section is Track 9 on the CD of music excerpts. Here is both the original Italian and English translation.

Seconda Parte

Part Two

Il parco di Windsor Nel centro il gran Quercia di Herne. Nel fondo l’argine d’un fosso. Fronde foltissime. È notte. Si odono gli appelli lontani dei guardiaboschi. Il parco a poco a poco si rischiara coi raggi della luna.

Windsor Park At mid-stage, Herne’s Oak. Upstage, the banks of a ditch. Thick foliage. Night. From far off, the calls of the forest-wardens. Gradually the scene brightens in the moonlight.

FENTON (entrando solo) Dal labbro il canto estasiato vola pei silenzi notturni, e va lontano e alfin ritrova un altro labbro umano che gli risponde colla sua parola. Allor la nota che non è più sola vibra di gioia in un accordo arcano, e innamorando l’aer antelucano con altra voce al suo fonte rivola. Quivi ripiglia suon, ma la sua cura tende sempre ad unir chi lo disuna. Così baciai la disiata bocca! Bocca baciata non perde ventura...

FENTON (entering alone) From the lover’s lips, the lovesong flies far off in the silence of the night, until it finds an answering voice, singing the same sweet song. Then the note, no longer alone, vibrates joyously in a secret harmony and, enamoring the dawn fresh air, with the other voice it comes home again. The double song goes forth again, with no care but to join the two who have divided it. Thus did I kiss the beloved lips! Lips which are kissed lose none of their charm.

NANNETTA (da lontano) Anzi rinnova come fa la luna.

NANNETTA (offstage) But are only more eager for kissing.

FENTON Ma il canto muor nel bacio che lo tocca. (Nannetta appare, vestita da Regina delle Fate. Con lei è Alice, gnon mascherata, portando sul braccio una cappa nera e in mano una maschera, e Quickly in gran cuffia e manto grigio da befana, un bastone e un brutto ceffo di maschera in mano. Poi Meg vestita con dei veli verdi e mascherata.)

FENTON But the song dies at last in the lovers’ kiss. (Nannetta enters, dressed as the Fairy Queen. With her are Alice unmasked, with a cape over her arm and a mask in her hand; Quickly, in a grey witch’s cape and a huge bonnet, carrying a frightful mask in her hand; and finally, Meg, dressed in green veils and wearing a mask.)

This section is just the English translation. ALICE (to Fenton who is embracing Nannetta) No, sir! Put on this cape. (making him put on the black cape)

FENTON What do you mean?

FENTON (complying) What is this for?

ALICE Obey in silence. Opportunity knocks but once. (to Quickly) Whom will you dress up as the bride?

NANNETTA Don’t worry.

QUICKLY A lively, long-nosed rascal whom Dr. Caius abhors.

ALICE (handing the mask to Fenton) Tie this on.

MEG I have concealed the imps along the ditch. We are ready.

NANNETTA A monk escaped from La Trappe. ALICE The betrayal which Ford has planned must be turned against him, in our favor.

ALICE Silence! Here comes the big one. NANNETTA, ALICE, MEG, QUICKLY Away! Away! Away! Away!



(All run off. At the first stroke of midnight, Falstaff enters, dressed in a great black cape. On his head are two stag’s horns. A clock strikes the hour in the distance.)

FALSTAFF I am your slave! I am your impassioned stag. Let truffles, horseradish and fennel rain upon me! They shall be my pasturage! Let love overflow! We are alone...

FALSTAFF One, two, three, four, five, six, seven strokes – eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve. Midnight! Here is the oak. Gods, protect me. Jove! Thou, for love of Europa, didst become a bull; thou didst wear horns. The gods teach us humility. Love changes man into a beast. (listening) I hear a gentle step. (Alice enters.) Alice! Love calls to you! (coming near her) Come! I am on fire with love!

FALSTAFF The adventure is doubled! Let her come! Tear me limb from limb, like venison at table! Tear me to shreds! Cupid, at last, answers my prayer! I love you! I love you!

ALICE Sir John!

MEG (offstage) Help!

FALSTAFF You are my lady!

ALICE (feigning terror) A cry! Alas!

ALICE Sir John!

MEG The goblins are coming!

FALSTAFF You are my doe!

ALICE Alas! We must escape!

ALICE O burning love!

FALSTAFF (frightened) Where?

FALSTAFF Come! I am trembling with love!

ALICE (running off) Heaven forgive my sin!

ALICE Sir John!

FALSTAFF The devil will not let me be damned! (flattening himself against the oak)

ALICE No. Here in the woods, Meg is following me.

This section is Track 10 on the CD of music excerpts. Here is both the original Italian and English translation. NANNETTA (di dentro) Ninfe! Elfi! Silfi! Doridi! Sirene! L’astro degli incantesimi in cielo è sorto. (Comparisce nel fondo tra le fronde.) Sorgete! Ombre serene!

NANNETTA (offstage) Nymphs! Elves! Sylphs! Dryads! Sirens! The enchanted star is burning in the sky! (She appears among the foliage.) Arise, serene shades!

LE FATE Ninfe! Silfi! Sirene!

THE FAIRIES Nymphs! Sylphs! Sirens!

FALSTAFF (gettandosi colla faccia contro terra lungo disteso) Sono le fate. Chi le guarda è morto. (Entra Nannetta, nel ruolo di regina delle fate, con Alice ed alcune ragazzette vestite da fate bianche e da fate azzurre. Falstaff rimane sempre disteso contro terra, immobile.)

FALSTAFF (throwing himself at full length, face down, upon the ground) They are the Fairies! Whoever sees them dies! (Nannetta enters, as the Fairy Queen, with Alice and several little girls disguised as white and blue fairies. Falstaff remains motionless on the ground.)

ALICE Inoltriam.

ALICE Forward, now.

NANNETTA Egli è là.

NANNETTA I see him there.

ALICE Steso al suol.

ALICE Lying on the ground.

NANNETTA Lo confonde il terror. (Tutte si inoltrano con precauzione.)

NANNETTA Frightened to death. (All advance cautiously.)

LE FATE Si nasconde.

THE FAIRIES He’s trying to hide.

ALICE Non ridiam!

ALICE You mustn’t laugh.

LE FATE Non ridiam!

THE FAIRIES We’re not laughing!

NANNETTA Tutte qui, dietro a me. Cominciam.

NANNETTA Here, behind me – all of you. Let’s begin.

LE FATE Tocca a te. (Le piccole fate si dispongono in cerchio intorno alla loro regina.)

THE FAIRIES You go first. (The little fairies take their places in a circle about the Fairy Queen.)

This section is Track 11 on the CD of music excerpts. Here is both the original Italian and English translation. LA REGINA DELLE FATE (Nannetta) Sul fil d’un soffio etesio scorrete agili larve, fra i rami un baglio cesio d’alba lunare apparve. Danzate! e il passo blando misuri un blando suon, le magiche accoppiando carole alla canzon.

THE FAIRY QUEEN (Nannetta) Borne on the freshening breeze, fly, fleet spirits, while through the wood shines the bluish gleam of the rising moon. Dance! Let your fairy steps be measured by a fairy tune, which joins your magic dancing to a magic song.

LE FATE La selva dorme e sperde incenso ed ombra; e par nell’aer denso un verde asilo in fondo al mar.

THE FAIRIES The wood is asleep and breathes out perfume and shadow; it shines in the black night air like a green cavern deep in the sea.

LA REGINA DELLE FATE Erriam sotto la luna scegliendo fior da fiore, ogni corolla in core porta la sua fortuna. Coi gigli e le viole scriviam de’ nomi arcani, dalle fatate mani germoglino parole, parole alluminate di puro argento e d’or, carmi e malie. Le fate hanno per cifre i fior.

THE FAIRY QUEEN In the moonlight we wander from flower to flower; each blossom holds a secret treasure within its heart. With lilies and violets we write secret names; from our enchanted hands blossom magic words – words which gleam with silver and gold, song and magic charms, for the fairy folk write with flowers.

LE FATE Moviamo ad una ad una sotto il lunare albor, verso la quercia bruna del Nero Cacciator.

THE FAIRIES One by one we move in the moonlight, towards the dark shadow of the Black Huntsman’s oak.



LA REGINA DELLE FATE Le fate hanno per cifre i fior.

THE FAIRY QUEEN The fairies write with flowers.

LE FATE ...verso la quercia bruna del Nero Cacciator.

THE FAIRIES ...towards the black shadow of the Black Huntsman’s oak.

This section is just the English translation. (As they sing, all the fairies and their Queen walk slowly towards the oak. There emerge, one by one: Alice, masked now; Meg, masked and dressed as a wood-nymph; Quickly, as a witch. They are preceded by Bardolph, in a red cape without a mask, but with the hood drawn low over his face; and Pistol, disguised as a satyr. Finally we see Dr Caius, in a grey cape, with no mask; and Ford, not in disguise. Various townsfolk in fantastic costumes bring up the rear, then gather to form a group. Behind them, other townsfolk, masked, carry lanterns of various types.) BARDOLPH (stumbling over Falstaff) Halt! PISTOL Who goes there? FALSTAFF Have pity! QUICKLY It’s a man! ALICE, MEG, NANNETTA It’s a man! CHORUS A man! FORD Horned like an ox! PISTOL Round as an apple! BARDOLPH As big as a ship! BARDOLPH, PISTOL (prodding Falstaff with their feet) Ho, there, on your feet! FALSTAFF Bring me a crane! I can’t get up.

FORD He’s too fat. QUICKLY He’s corrupt! CHORUS He’s corrupt! ALICE, MEG, NANNETTA He’s impure! CHORUS He’s impure! BARDOLPH (gesturing like a sorcerer) Make the sign against the devil! (Alice takes Nannetta aside, while Caius runs about as if looking for someone. Fenton and Quickly hide Nannetta with their bodies.) ALICE (aside to Nannetta) Escape from what threatens you! The Doctor is trying to find you. NANNETTA Let’s find a hiding place. (She escapes with Fenton, covered by Alice and Quickly.) QUICKLY Come immediately when I call you. BARDOLPH Spirits! Elves! Goblins! Vampires! Swift gadflies of hell! Prick him! Nettle him! Torture him with your barbed snouts! (The imps nearest Falstaff pinch his arms and cheeks, belabor his paunch with whipsticks andsting him with nettles.) FALSTAFF (to Bardolph) Ah! You smell like a skunk. IMPS (seizing Falstaff and rolling him over and over) Roll and spin, roll and spin! Roll and spin, roll and spin!

ALICE, QUICKLY, MEG Pinch, pinch, pinch and poke, bite and nibble, prick and nibble until he howls! FALSTAFF Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! IMPS, DEVILS Dance with the flamelets’ crackling to the click of castanets, as with spattering mud and splashing we paint this winebag as he deserves. We’ll move in upon him with clever maneuvers, and dance with abandon upon his fat paunch. Mosquitoes and gadflies; charge forth to the battle, with stings and pin pricks! Prick him and sting him, prick him and sting him, until he bursts with rage! ALICE, MEG, QUICKLY Pinch, pinch, pinch and poke, bite and nibble, until he howls. FALSTAFF Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! IMPS Butt him, goad him, from his heels to his skull! Choke him, squeeze him until his lust is quenched. Pinch him, pinch him, off with his claws, roll and spin, roll and spin! DEVILS Prick him and sting him until he bursts with rage! Roll him, roll him! etc. FALSTAFF Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! THE WOMEN Prick him, prick him! etc. CAIUS, FORD Rogue! BARDOLPH, PISTOL Lout! Glutton!

BARDOLPH Bed-smasher! QUICKLY Seam-splitter!

PISTOL Keg-sucker! MEG Chair-crusher! CAIUS Mare-crippler! FORD Triple-chin! BARDOLPH, PISTOL, ALICE, MEG, QUICKLY Say you repent! (Bardolph takes Quickly’s stick and beats him.) FALSTAFF Ouch! Ouch! I repent! ALL THE MEN Fraudulent rascal! ALICE, MEG, QUICKLY Say you repent! FALSTAFF Ouch! Ouch! I repent! THE MEN Troublemaker! ALICE, MEG, QUICKLY Say you repent! FALSTAFF Ouch! Ouch! I repent! THE MEN Goat! Cheater! Braggart!

ALL THE MEN Paunchbelly! Drunkard! Knave! On your knees! (They lift him and force him to kneel.)


FORD Swollen gut!

BARDOLPH (his face close to Falstaff’s) Change your life!

ALICE Jowly fool!

FALSTAFF You stink of gin.



ALICE, MEG, QUICKLY Lord, render him chaste.

CAIUS, FORD, BARDOLPH, PISTOL Knavery personified!

THE MEN Swollen gut!

FALSTAFF Ouch! So be it!

FALSTAFF But save his belly.


IMPS Pinch him, pinch him!

FALSTAFF Ouch! So be it!

ALICE, MEG, QUICKLY Lord, render him impotent!

CAIUS, FORD, BARDOLPH, PISTOL Knavery personified! Good for nothing!

FALSTAFF But save his belly!

BARDOLPH And now may the devil take you off! (In his excitement, he lets his hood fall.)

ALICE, MEG, QUICKLY May he be punished, o Lord! etc. FALSTAFF But save his belly, etc. THE MEN Big-belly! Ball of filth! Answer us. FALSTAFF I am indeed. THE MEN Mountain of fat! Answer us. FALSTAFF I am indeed. THE MEN Wineskin of malmsey! Answer us. FALSTAFF So be it. BARDOLPH King of paunches! FALSTAFF Go away, you stink. BARDOLPH King of cuckolds. FALSTAFF Go away, you stink.

FALSTAFF (rising) Hell’s blazes! Fire and brimstone! I recognize Bardolph! Crimson-snout! Fish-nose! Awl-nose! Resin-candle! Salamander! Will-o-the-wisp! Halberd! Tailor’s knife! Devil’s roasting-spit! Dried herring! Vampire! Lizard! Hangman! Thief! I have spoken. If I have lied, may my belt burst. ALL Bravo! FALSTAFF Just a minute! I’m tired. QUICKLY (softly, to Bardolph) Come with me. I’ll put a white veil on you. (Caius begins his search for Nannetta again. He goes out. Quickly and Bardolph disappear among the trees.) FORD (to Falstaff, with an ironic bow) And now, while your sweat is passing, tell me, Sir John: the cuckold – who is it? ALICE, MEG (unmasking) Who is it? ALICE Are you struck dumb? FALSTAFF (after a moment of bewilderment, to Ford) My dear Mr. Brook!

ALICE (coming between them) You are mistaken – this is Ford, my husband.

ALL Attention!

QUICKLY Sir Knight...

FORD See her there, all in white, veiled, a garland of roses in her hair, together with the husband of my choice. Make a circle about her, nymphs. (Dr Caius and Bardolph take their places, centre. The fairies make a circle around them.)

FALSTAFF Your Grace... QUICKLY You thought two women could be so stupid, so block-headed as to give themselves body and soul to the devil, for a fat and dirty old man... MEG, QUICKLY With a bald head...

ALICE (introducing Nannetta, enveloped in a blue veil, and Fenton, in mask and mantle, into the circle) Another pair of lovers has asked to join in the happy nuptials.

FORD They speak clearly, don’t they?

FORD Splendid! A double wedding! Bring the lanterns. (The imps and Alice approach with lanterns.) Heaven joins you in marriage! Unmask, unveil! Arise, be blessed! (Fenton and Caius quickly unmask. Nannetta and Bardolph remove their veils.)

FALSTAFF I begin to see that I’ve been an ass.

ALL (except for Ford and Caius) Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

ALICE And a stag.

CAIUS What a fright!

FORD And an ox.

FORD Treachery!

ALL Ha! Ha!

FALSTAFF, PISTOL, IMPS Arise, be blessed!

FORD, then ALL And a rare kind of monster. A stag! An ox! Ha! Ha!

FORD Fenton – and my daughter!

FALSTAFF (has regained his composure) All kinds of common folk jeer at me now, and are proud of it. But without me, their arrogance would be flat and flavorless. It is I who season it for you. I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other men.

CAIUS I’ve married Bardolph!

ALICE, MEG, QUICKLY ...with all that weight!

ALL Bravo! FORD O ye gods! If I weren’t laughing so, I’d crush you! But enough. Now – listen to me, we shall crown our masquerade with the wedding of the Fairy Queen. (Dr Caius comes forward with Bardolph, dressed now as the Fairy Queen, with his face veiled. They are holding hands.) Here comes the happy couple now. Attention.

ALL Ha! Ha! CAIUS What a fright! ALICE, MEG, QUICKLY Victory is ours! ALL (except Caius and Ford) Hurrah! Hurrah! FORD Oh, wonderment!



ALICE Oftentimes man falls into the trap set by his own malice. FALSTAFF My dear Mister Ford, now tell me: the fool – who is it? FORD (indicating Caius) He. CAIUS (indicating Ford) You. FORD No. CAIUS Yes. BARDOLPH (indicating Ford and Caius) You two.

FENTON (indicating Ford and Caius) They. CAIUS (joining Ford) We. FALSTAFF Both. ALICE (moving Falstaff over to join the other two) No. All three. (to Ford, indicating Nannetta and Fenton) Turn, now; behold their joyous confusion. NANNETTA Forgive us, dear father. FORD If a man can’t escape his trouble, he had best accept it gracefully. I accept my new family – and may Heaven bring you joy. ALL (except Caius) Hurrah!

This section is Track 12 on the CD of music excerpts. Here is both the original Italian and English translation. FALSTAFF Un coro e terminiam la scena.

FALSTAFF A chorus to finish the play!

FORD Poi con Sir Falstaff tutti andiamo a cena.

FORD And then to dinner – all of us – with Sir John Falstaff!

TUTTI Evviva!

ALL Hurrah!

FALSTAFF Tutto nel mondo è burla. L’uom è nato burlone...

FALSTAFF All the world’s a prank, and man is born a clown...

TUTTI Tutto nel mondo è burla. L’uom è nato burlone, nel suo cervello ciurla sempre la sua ragione. Tutti gabbati! Irride l’un l’altro ogni mortal, ma ride ben chi ride la risata final.

ALL All the world’s a prank, and man is born a clown. Within his addled head his brains are in a churn. We all are fools! And every man laughs at the others’ folly. But he laughs best who has the last laugh.

Fine dell’opera

End of the opera

Connect the

Opera Terms



Opera Seria


Dance spectacle set to music.




Highest pitched woman’s voice.




Dramatic text adapted for opera.




Low female voice.




Comic opera.





A drama or comedy in which music is the essential factor; very little is spoken.




Opera with dramatic and intense plots.




Music composed for a singing group.



A composition written for two performers.


A group of musicians who play together on various musical instruments.

12. Contralto


Highest pitched man’s voice.

13. Tenor


A musical style used in opera and oratorio, in which the text is declaimed in the rhythm of natural speech with slight melodic variation.

10. Chorus 11. Act

14. Opera Buffa 15. Recitative

M. Male voice between bass and tenor.

16. Bass


A piece of music originally designed to be played before an opera or musical play.


The term describing the realistic or naturalistic school of opera that flourished briefly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; libretti were chosen to depict a ‘slice of life’.


Deepest male voice.


Elaborate solo in an opera or oratorio.


Main division of a play or opera.

17. Overture 18. Verismo


So you want to sing like an

Opera Singer

Singing on the opera stage is a lot of hard work. Singers are like athletes in that they are constantly training to perfect their voices. They ask their voices and bodies to do things that most of us without training can’t do; specifically, to sing incredibly intricate and difficult music and project their voice over a sixty piece (or more) orchestra and still be heard.

Singing begins with the human voice. The voice is a very versatile instrument. It can produce sounds that present a wide range of frequencies that we call pitches. Pitches can be high or low. Women can sing in the highest pitches and men in the lowest ones.

Lyric Soprano Sari Gruber as Norina in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale.

Our voices are also able to change in volume. Sometimes we speak softly as when we are telling a secret. Other times we yell as if we were at a football game. These are some of the ways we can look at the human voice. But we can go deeper and see it as a gift of human biology. Voices are powered by the air that is exhaled out of the lungs. The diaphragm, a muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen, is used to control that flow of air. The abdomen is right behind the stomach muscles and contains the intestines, spleen, and other organs. It’s always important to breathe from the diaphragm. Inhaling deeply causes the diaphragm to lower while the ribs and stomach expand. The shoulders should not rise. The diaphragm forces the air out when it contracts. When it does this, it causes the vocal chords to vibrate. The vocal chords are actually folds of fibrous bands that are stretched along the two sides of the larynx. The larynx is the body’s sound instrument. It is just below the ‘Adam’s apple.’ When we hum, talk, or sing, air passes through the larynx and it vibrates. As the air vibrates it creates a sound that is then shaped by the other parts of our bodies. This includes the mouth, tongue, teeth and lastly the lips. Babies experiment with singing, laughing, screaming, and babbling. This is done to exercise the vocal chords and learn how to control them. The pitch of the voice (how high or how low we speak) is created by them. Singers must masterfully control the flow of air through the vocal chords in the larynx. Each sung note is determined by how the chords are controlled. This is why singers have vocal exercises. It is so that they can quickly adjust to the demands of the music without thinking about it.

Singers must learn how to shape their mouths to control the sound that comes out of it. Specific sounds are controlled by the size and shape of the mouth. Think of the mouth and entire head as being like a megaphone. Singers use all open spaces in their mouths, sinuses, and skull like a megaphone to help project their voices. Singers raise the soft palate, located on the roof of your mouth towards the back, to help create the megaphone effect. An indicator that enough space has been created is that your uvula, or the little fleshy piece that hangs down in the back, is raised and it doesn’t dangle. In opera, singers sing in many languages. So that singers are able to effectively communicate |their lines, they often work with language coaches. Different languages demand various ways of expressing text. Each language has its own unique way of being enunciated. Once a singer knows the science of singing, the singer must be careful to understand the music and the text of the song. Certain emotions can also demand certain ways of enunciating the text. In this way, the singer combines vocal techniques with the emotional context of the music to enhance the words. This process creates the passionate music we know as opera.

Experiment 1. Place a hole in the bottom of the cups. 2. Cut rubber bands so that they become long stretches of rubber.

3. Pull on the rubber band so that it vibrates. How does pitch change? Record your findings.

4. Tie the rubber band to a small object that is larger than the hole in the cup. (Paper clip) This object will act as a plug to the hole. Be sure to make a square knot on the object so that the pressure in the next step does not cause the knot to slip out and the object to be ejected from the cup.

5. Slide the rubber band through the small hole in the cup and pull it through until the object catches on the inside bottom of the cup.

6. Pull on the rubber band again so that it vibrates a second time. Record your findings.

7. In comparing the two sounds, what did you observe happen after the cup was added to the activity?

8. Place different sized cups into your experiment and record your findings.

9. Cover the cup opening with your hand. Pull on the

Sound and Active Learning The vocal chords vibrate and create sounds that our mouth then forms so that we can talk or sing. Without our mouth we would only be able to express a sound similar to a hum. It is the mouth that is the sound shaper that produces our words and songs. Our wind pipe is a tube though which the air is passed over the larynx. After the air picks up a vibrating sound from our vocal chords, the mouth enunciates the sound into words and projects the new text-added sound into the world. We can understand both of these as a human instrument. We can make a model of our human instrument. Our model will not be able to shape the sounds into words, but it will express the various humming pitches necessary for words to be created. The place of the vocal chords will be taken by a rubber band. The place of the mouth will be taken by various size paper or plastic cups.

rubber band. Record your findings.

10. See if you can get your cup to make sounds like a baby.


The Highs and Lows of the


Operatic Voice Did you ever wonder what the difference is between a soprano and a mezzo-soprano or what voice type can sing the highest note and the lowest? Most opera singers fall into a voice type that reflects the singer’s vocal range as well as the dramatic requirements of singing a particular role. Above all the voice is an instrument - a human one. Opera singers spend much time learning correct singing techniques that allow them to sing without amplification. There is no grabbing a microphone and belting out arias in opera. All the sound that an opera singer produces is done through the sheer power of the human voice. So how does one become a soprano, mezzosoprano, tenor, baritone, or bass, the five most common types of voices? Some of it has to do with the size of the vocal chords and the speed at which they vibrate. It also has to do with vocal range, which can be defined as the span from the lowest note to the highest note that a particular singer can produce. Vocal range is very important in opera singing. Two other things which are taken into consideration when determining a singer’s voice type are the consistency of timbre (sound quality or color of the voice) and the ability to project the voice over a full orchestra. Remember, there are no microphones in opera, and there are small, medium, large and extra large voices. Soprano Barbara Hendricks compares the differences in vocal types to the differences between a Mack truck and a Maserati. She says “...one can haul a load, but the other can take the curves.”

Some terms that are used to describe operatic voices are:

Coloratura: typically a voice with a very high range with the ability to sing complicated passages with great agility. Dramatic: a heavy, powerful voice with a steely timbre. Lyric: an average size voice, but capable of singing long beautiful phrases.

Lyric spinto: a somewhat more powerful voice than that of a true lyric.

Helden: a German term referring to a powerful voice capable of singing very demanding roles.

Falsetto: the upper part of a voice, more often used in reference to male voices. Let’s define a few of the voice types that audiences generally hear in opera: For females, the highest voice type is the soprano. In operatic drama, the soprano is almost always the heroine because she projects innocence and youth. Within this category, there are other sub-divisions such as, coloratura soprano, lyric soprano, and dramatic soprano. Each of these voices has particular lighter or darker voice qualities as well as differences in range. Some of the roles sung by these voice types include: the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute (coloratura), Mimi in La bohème (lyric) and Ariadne in Ariadne auf Naxos (dramatic). The mezzo-soprano has a lower range than the soprano. Many mezzo-sopranos sing the so-called “trouser” roles, portraying young boys or men, or they may be the villainesses or perhaps motherly types. This category is also sub-divided into coloratura mezzo, who can sing complicated fast music through a large range. The comedic heroines of Gioachino Rossini’s operas, such as Cinderella, The Barber of Seville, and The Italian Girl in Algiers, are well-suited for this voice type. The dramatic mezzo is most often found singing the operas of Giuseppe Verdi in roles such as Amneris in Aida, or Princess Eboli in Don Carlo. One of the most well known roles for a dramatic mezzo is the fiery gypsy Carmen in the opera of the same name.

The contralto or alto is the lowest female voice and the darkest in timbre. This voice type is usually reserved for specialty roles like the earth goddess Erda in Richard Wagner’s Nordic fantasy-epic The Ring of the Nibelungen. Since this is such a rare voice type, dramatic mezzos often sing roles in this range. Marian Anderson, a Philadelphia native, was one of the world’s most famous contraltos ever. (See the story on Miss Anderson on page 8) For males, the tenor is generally considered to be the highest male voice in an opera, and is most often the hero or the love interest of the story. His particular voice type determines which roles are best for him to sing. There are many different types of tenor voices. Two of the more common ones are lyric tenors, whose voices have high, bright tones, and dramatic tenors whose voices have a darker sound with a ringing quality in the upper range. Two of the more famous roles for tenors include Rodolfo in La bohème (lyric) and Radames in Aida (dramatic). A countertenor is able to sing even higher than a tenor. This voice actually falls within a female’s voice range. Through the use of a man’s falsetto voice, the voice produces a sound that is sometimes described as otherworldly. A baritone is the most common type of male voice whose range is lies midway between the high tenor voice and the low bass voice. He can play several types of roles. In comedic operas, he is often the leader of the funny business, but he can also be the hero who sacrifices himself for the tenor or soprano, or sometimes, he is the villain. This voice has a dramatic quality capable of producing rich, dark tones. The hunchback court jester in the title role in Rigoletto (dramatic) and the popular Toréador Escamillo in Carmen are favorite roles for baritones.

In general, a bass is the lowest and darkest of the male voices. The word bass comes from the Italian word basso, which means low. Some singers in this category are referred to as bass-baritones because they have voices that range between the bass and the baritone voice. A bass is ideal for several types of roles. A basso serio or basso profondo portrays characters who convey wisdom or nobility such as Sarastro in The Magic Flute. In contrast, a basso buffo sings comedic roles such as Dr. Bartolo in The Barber of Seville. So, no matter what the size, quality or range, a singer’s voice has the ability to thrill an audience with its sheer beauty and musicality.

Active Learning Let’s imagine that The Lord of the Rings had been made into an opera. What voice types would you cast in the major roles and why? Frodo









Merry Pippin






Life in the Opera Chorus:


Julie-Ann Whitely I started in music at age 4 with piano lessons. In high school I started voice lessons, and then I went to Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) and graduated with degrees in Voice Performance and Music Education. I still take voice lessons to work on my voice, learn new repertoire, and polish up the old repertoire. A few years ago I won a scholarship to study in Salzburg, Austria at a very famous school called the Mozarteum. (The school is named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.) I have also spent the past couple of summers studying in Florence, Italy. I’ve been singing in the opera chorus for the past 5 seasons. My first opera with OCP was Porgy and Bess. Over the past 5 years I’ve learned a lot about opera and how may people it takes to put on an opera. Everyone onstage and backstage work together as a team to put on a great show. If any one person doesn’t follow through with their job, something could go wrong or someone could get hurt. To sing in the opera chorus you have to be a good musician, able to sight-read the notes and pronounce the words correctly. Most of the time we sing in a foreign language—Italian, French or German. I learned Italian by studying with a private tutor and also by studying in Italy. When I was studying in Austria, I learned a bit of German. I studied French while in college and then practiced on my own with a language tape. We usually get a copy of the translation to the opera so we’ll know exactly what we (and the soloists) are saying. It’s important! In addition to our scheduled music rehearsals, I also practice at home. To help me memorize the words, sometimes I’ll write out the text on index cards. That comes in very handy during staging rehearsals when I need a little “cheat sheet!” After the music is learned, staging rehearsals are held in the rehearsal hall. This is where all of the singers (chorus and soloists) and the supers (extras) meet with the stage director. We’re told when to go onstage, what to do while onstage, and when to exit. We use tape on the floor to mark where the scenery would be. It takes a lot of time to get the staging correct. Everyone has a specific “character role” that they play. I have played a fruit vendor, a gypsy, a townsperson, a mother, and many other characters. After a few staging rehearsals, we go into the theatre to practice on the set with scenery and props. Then, a few days before opening night, we have a dress

rehearsal—this is when we do the whole show, complete with costumes, makeup, wigs, orchestra, sets, lights, and props—the whole thing. Once I get my costume, wig and makeup on, that helps a lot with portraying my character. Every person singing on the stage is important— the soloists and the choristers. Although the audience looks forward to hearing the soloists, the chorus helps to support the soloists and also adds depth to the staging. Many members of the chorus are solo performers in other theatres and/or sing concerts. Our musical training allows us to adjust to the performance space, the music we’re singing and the people that we’re singing with. When we’re backstage, it’s dark, and sometimes it can get very crowded. We also have to be quiet backstage or the sound will carry out into the audience! That’s hard to do sometimes. We’re often hanging around waiting for our next entrance, getting our props, or watching the soloists. For me, w h e n e v e r I get a chance to watch the soloists, I do, because it is always an inspiring and learning experience. A memorable (and funny) thing happened during my first season at OCP. We were doing Donizetti’s opera The Elixir of Love and the character Belcore had a “wardrobe malfunction.” He was dressed as an army sergeant, and the pants for his costume were too tight. As he was singing his first big aria, he knelt down and—RIP!! His pants split right up the middle! Luckily, that happened during a dress rehearsal and not a performance. We all had a good laugh. Singing in the chorus is work, but it’s also great fun. I get a chance to do what I love the most—SING!

Julie-Ann prepares to go onstage in Puccini’s La bohème.

The Subtle Art of

Costume Design As costume director, Richard St. Clair’s job is to oversee each and every costume in the operas we perform. Each opera has its own special needs. Sometimes we rent an entire production. This requires Richard to send out the physical measurements for each of our principal performers, the chorus members and any others who may be in the production. Richard also designs costumes for our productions, and his crew builds them based on his sketches and instructions. This process usually takes at least six months. It begins when he meets with the director of the opera to discuss her or his ideas. Richard’s job is to match his creative insights with the goals of the director. To do this he seeks out visuals that offer interesting ideas. Many hours are spent at libraries and at home studying books of costume illustrations. He also studies art books and magazines. Once he has an idea of a design, he goes to fabric shops in New York and Philadelphia and gathers swatches of interesting fabrics. At this point, he will do little “thumbnail sketches” to show a director how he thinks the characters would look. When he meets with the director, they will discuss the historical settings and the fabrics that he has collected. They then talk through the opera scene by scene and character by character as they look at Richard’s work. In this way, Richard learns exactly what the director needs and wants.

Costume Shop Foreman Elmo Struck works on the final gown worn by Cinderella in Rossini’s opera.

He then takes all this information, his research, thumbnail sketches, and swatches of fabrics, and makes the final costume sketches. Each sketch takes anywhere from one to ten hours, depending on the intricacy of the costume. Finally he shows the completed sketches to the director. Once everything is approved, all of the fabric needed to create the costumes is purchased. It is at this point that his crew of about six to eight people begins making the costumes. Some of his workers have special jobs. Some are gifted at making patterns; others are good at making hats, while still others are good at painting fabrics, and still others sew the fabrics into costumes. Each pattern and costume is made one at a time with one person in mind. When they sew a costume they call it “building,” and costumes are much heavier and sturdier than regular clothes. Many of the ladies costumes have full skirts and petticoats and boned corsets. His crew is excellent at historical pattern making and costume building. Richard graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1980. He received his Mater of Fine Arts degree from Temple in 1985. He is a member of United Scenic Artists and has been working with the opera since 1986. He has designed costumes for Curtis, Metropolitan Opera Guild, and many others.

Costume Designer Richard St. Clair adjusts baritone Troy Cook’s costume for the OCP production of La bohème.



Conflicts and Loves in Falstaff Draw a picture of Falstaff in the middle circle. In the outer circles, draw a picture of those individuals with whom Falstaff has a direct relationship. Then in the boxes pointing toward the middle circle, write how that individual feels about the central character. In the boxes pointing to the outer circles, write how Falstaff feels about that individual.

Review of Philadelphia’s First Falstaff

w e i v e R a i h p l e d a l i h P

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2006-2007 Season Subscriptions


Review the charts of the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s performance season and prices. Then answer the questions below.





C Wenesday































Nov. 1

Curtain Times: Sunday Performances begin at 2:30 PM; Wednesday Performances begin at 7:30 PM Friday and Saturday Evening Performances begin at 8:00 PM








Parquet Box/Balcony Box





Parquet Floor





Parquet Floor front/sides





Balcony Loge





Parquet Circle/Balcony Circle





Proscenium Box





Family Circle





Family Circle Side










1. Porgy and Bess will be performed on what day, date, and time in the F Series? 2. If a new subscriber buys 4 subscriptions for the E Series in the Balcony Loge, what does he/she pay? 3. Which performance occurs closest to Halloween? ________________________________________ 4. How many days will elapse between the performances of La bohème in the C Series and Cinderella in the E Series?

5. What sets of series have the same curtain time? 6. In Series A, what is the cost of the subscription for a parquet or balcony box and of an individual ticket? 7. How much more does a person pay when buying single tickets to all the operas in the Parquet Floor section in Series C than the person who buys a subscription in the parquet? What is the percentage of savings of a parquet subscription over four individual tickets?

Glossary abhor (ab-hawr) v. to regard with extreme repugnance or aversion; detest utterly; loathe; abominate. act (akt) n. one of the main divisions of a play or opera. Acteon (act-ay-on) n. in Greek mythology, hunter who discovered the goddess Diana while bathing. When she discovered him, Diane turns him into a deer and he is pursued and torn apart by his own dogs. allegro (uh-leg-roh) adv. musical term for fast and lively. alto (al-toh) n. the lowest female singing voice; also called contralto. andante (ahn-dahn-tey) adv. a musical term meaning in moderately slow time. antiphon [an-tuh-fon] n. a verse or song to be chanted or sung in response. apoplectic (ap-uh-plek-tik) adj. something likened to a blow in its effect, as in causing pain, injury, or death. aquavitae (a-kwavetay) n. Strong distilled alcohol, especially a strong liquor such as whiskey or brandy. aria (ahr-ee-uh) n. an operatic song for one voice. audience (aw-dee-uhns) n. a formal interview with a sovereign, high officer of government, or other high-ranking person. bar (bahr) n. a division of music, marked by two barlines, containing a set number of beats. baritone (bar-i-tohn) n. the range of the male voice between tenor and bass. bass (beys) n. the lowest male singing voice. beat (beet) n. the basic pulse of a piece of music. beget (bi-get) v. to procreate or generate. bewitch (bi-wich) v. to enchant; charm; fascinate. blithesome (blahyth-suhm) adj. lighthearted; merry; cheerful: a blithesome nature. blunder (bluhn-der) v. a gross, stupid, or careless mistake. bombard (bom-bahrd) v. to attack or batter with artillery fire. burgher (bur-ger) n. middle class citizen or townsperson. Charlatan (shahr-luh-tn) n. a person who pretends to more knowledge or skill than he or she possesses; quack. chastity (chas-ti-tee) n. one who is pure or virginal. chord (kawrd) n. a group of notes played at the same time in harmony. chorus (kawr-uhs) n. 1. a group of singers. 2. a piece of music for these. chronological (kron-l-oj-i-kuhl) adj. a method of arrangement that puts events in order of occurrence. coax (kohks) v. to attempt to influence by persuasion or flattery. comely (kuhm-lee) adj. attractive or pretty. commence (kuh-mens) v. to begin. conceal (kuhn-seel) v. to hide, cover or keep from sight. contralto (kuhn-tral-toh) n. the lowest female singing voice. contrite (kon-trahyt) adj. caused by or showing sincere remorse. corrupt (kuh-ruhpt) adj. that which is dishonest, lacking integrity; crooked.


counsel (koun-suhl) n. advice or opinion.


crinoline (krin-l-in) n. a stiff, coarse cotton material; a hoop skirt. Croesus (kree-suhs) n. king of Lydia 560–546 noted for his great wealth. cuckold (kuhk-uhld) n. husband with an unfaithful wife. cudgel (kuhj-uhl) n. short thick stick used as a weapon. deck (dek) v. to clothe with finery; adorn. deign (deyn) v. to condescend to give or grant. demijohn (dem-i-jon) n. a large bottle having a short, narrow neck, and usually being encased in wickerwork. distemper (dis-tem-per) n. a psychological or mental disorder. douse (dous) v. to plunge into water or the like; drench. dryad (drahy-ad) n. in mythology a wood nymph or goddess. empurpled (em-pur-puhl) v. to become purplish or flushed. exeunt (ek-see-uhnt) used as a stage direction to specify that all or certain named characters leave the stage. feign (feyn) v. to pretend. flat (b) (flat) adj. a half-step lower than the corresponding note or key of natural pitch. foetid (fet-id, fee-tid) adj. having a horrid smell or odor. forbear (fawr-bair) v. to withhold or abstain from. forte (f) (fawr-tey) adv. a musical term meaning loudly. fortissimo (ff) (fawr-tis-uh-moh) adv. a musical term for very loud. fraudulent (fraw-juh-luhnt) adj. given to or using cheating or dishonest methods. gallant (gal-uhnt) adj. brave, spirited, noble-minded, or chivalrous. glutton (gluht-n) n. a person with a remarkably great desire or capacity for something. Golconda (gol-kon-duh) n. a ruined city in S India: capital of a former Muslim kingdom; famous for its diamond cutting. halberd (hal-berd) n. a shafted weapon with an axlike cutting blade. hyperbolic (hahy-per-bol-ik) adj. having the nature of hyperbole; exaggerated. imp (imp) n. a little devil or demon; an evil spirit. importunate (im-pawr-chuh-nit) adj. troublesome; annoying. incandescent (in-kuhn-des-uhnt) adj. glowing or white with heat. infamy (in-fuh-mee) n. extremely bad reputation, public reproach. key (k) n. the basic note of the main scale used in a piece of music. Music in the key of G, for example, has the sound of being based on the note G and often returns to G as a home note. knave (neyv) n. an untrustworthy, or dishonest person. largo (lahr-goh) adv. & adj. a musical term meaning in slow time and dignified style. La Trappe (la trap) n. an abbey in Normandy, France, at which the Trappist order was founded. lecherous (lech-er-uhs) adj. given to excessive indulgence in lustful activity. libretto (li-bret-oh) n. the words of an opera or other long musical. loathsome (lohth-suhm) adj. disgusting; revolting; repulsive.

lout (lout) adj. an awkward, stupid person; clumsy, ill-mannered boor. madrigal (mad-ri-guhl) n. a secular a capella song for four to six voices popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. major (mey-jer) adj. music in a major key uses a major scale, in which the first three notes are the key note followed by intervals of a tone and then another tone (for example, A, B, C). It often has a cheerful, strong sound. malmsey (mahm-zee) n. a strong, sweet wine originally made in Greece but now made mainly in Madeira. Mandrake (man-dreyk) n. a narcotic, short-stemmed European plant, having a fleshy, forked root resembling a human form. maneuver (muh-noo-ver) v. to scheme; intrigue; to manipulate or manage with skill or adroitness. masquerade (mas-kuh-reyd) n. a party, dance, at which people wear masks and other disguises. menacing (men-is) v. to express or serve as a threat. Menelaus (men-l-ey-uhs) n. Classical Mythology. A king of Sparta, the husband of Helen. Asked his brother Agamemnon for an army against Troy to rescue Helen from her abductor, Paris. Mercury (mur-kyuh-ree) n. the ancient Roman god who was messenger of the gods and the god of commerce, thievery, eloquence, and science. Milady (mi-ley-dee) n. an English noblewoman (often used as a term of address). minor (mahy-ner) adj. Music in a minor key uses a minor scale, in which the first three notes are the key note followed by intervals of a tone and then a semitone ( for example A, B, C). It often has a sad, melancholic sound. natural (nach-er-uhl) adj. a note that is neither flattened nor sharpened. octave (ok-tiv) n. a note that sounds twice as high in pitch as another is an octave above the other note, and has the same letter naming it. opera (op-er-uh) n. a play in which the words are sung to musical accompaniment. opus (oh-puhs) n. a musical compostion numbered as one of a composer’s works (usually in order of publication). orchestra (awr-kuh-struh) n. a large body of people playing various musical instruments, including stringed and wind instruments. mirth (murth) n. amusement or laughter. nuptials (nuhp-shuhl) n. a wedding or marriage. ogle (ah-gl) v. to stare at impertinently, flirtatiously, or amorously. omit (oh-mit) v. to leave out. overture (oh-ver-cher) n. an orchestral composition forming a prelude to an opera or ballet. Pandarus (pan-der-uhs) n. Classical Mythology. a Trojan who attempted to assassinate Menelaus, thereby violating a truce between the Greeks and the Trojans and prolonging the Trojan War. pasturage (pas-cher-ij) n. the activity or business of pasturing livestock. pedant (ped-nt) n. a person who makes an excessive or inappropriate display of learning. penitent (pen-i-tuhnt) adj. feeling or expressing sorrow for wrongdoing and disposed to atonement. perambulation (per-am-byuh-le-shun) v. to walk through, about, or over. physic (fiz-ik) n. a medicine that purges; cathartic; laxative. pianissimo (pp) (pee-uh-nis-uh-moh) adv. a musical term meaning very softly. piano (p) (pee-an-oh) adv. a musical term meaning softly. plot (plot) n. the sequence of events in an opera, story, novel, etc.


pious (pahy-uhs) adj. having or showing a dutiful spirit of reverence for God.


prattle (prat-l) v. to talk in a foolish or simple-minded way; chatter; babble. prognostic (prog-nos-tik) adj. of or pertaining to the diagnosis of a disease. proscenium (proh-see-nee-uhm) n. the arch or frame that separates a stage from the auditorium. presto (pres-toh) adv. a musical term meaning very fast. protagonist (proh-tag-uh-nist) n. the leading character in an opera, play, story, etc. quench (kwench) adj. to slake, satisfy, or allay (thirst, desires, passion, etc.). rake (reyk) n. an immoral and lewd man; a womanizer. rampart (ram-pahrt) n. a broad elevation or mound of earth raised as a fortification around a place. refute (ri-fyoot) v. to prove to be false, as an opinion or charge. resounding (ri-zoun-ding) adj. making an echoing sound. resourceful (ri-zohrs -fuhl) adj. able to deal skillfully and promptly with new situations, difficulties, etc. resplendent (ri-splen-duhnt) adj. shining brilliantly; gleaming. Satyr (sey-ter) n. Classical Mythology. one of a class of woodland deities, attendant on Bacchus, represented as part human, part horse, and sometimes part goat and noted for riotousness and lasciviousness. scale (skeyl) n. a series of notes arranged in descending or ascending order of pitch. semitone (sem-ee-tohn) n. a half step or half tone, an interval midway between two whole tones. sharp (#) (shahrp) n. any note a semitone higher than another note; also, slightly too high in pitch. Siren (sahy-ruhn) n. Classical Mythology. one of several sea nymphs, part woman and part bird, who lure mariners to destruction by their seductive singing. sombre (som-ber) adj. gloomily dark; shadowy; dimly lighted. soprano (suh-pran-oh) n. the highest female or boy’s singing voice. sot (sot) n. a drunkard. stage (st j) n. a platform on which an opera, play, etc. are performed for an audience. staging (stey-jing) n. the presentation or production on the stage. stout (stout) adj. bulky in figure; stocky. stratagem (strat-uh-juhm) n. a plan, scheme, or trick for surprising or deceiving an enemy. swoon (swoon) v. to enter a state of hysterical rapture or ecstasy. sylph (silf) n. a slender or graceful woman. symphony (sim-fuh-nee) n. a long elaborate musical composition (usually in several parts) for a full orchestra. synopsis (si-nop-sis) n. a summary, a brief general survey. tactic (tak-tik) n. a plan, procedure for promoting a desired end or result. talisman (tal-is-muhn) n. a stone, ring, or other object supposed to possess occult powers and worn as a charm. tenor (ten-er) n. the highest male singing voice. tone (tohn) n. 1. an interval equal to two semitones. 2. the sound quality of an instrument or voice. vanquish (vang-kwish) v. to conquer or subdue by superior force. voracious (voh-rey-shuhs) adj. craving or consuming large quantities of food. verismo (vuh-riz-moh) n. realism in opera.

Pennsylvania Department of Education Academic Standards Pennsylvania’s public schools shall teach, challenge and support every student to realize his or her maximum potential and to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to: Academic Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening 1.1. Learning to Read Independently GRADE 5 D. Identify the basic ideas and facts in text using strategies (e.g., prior knowledge, illustrations and headings) and information from other sources to make predictions about text. 1.1.8. GRADE 8 E. Expand a reading vocabulary by identifying and correctly using idioms and words with literal and figurative meanings. Use a dictionary or related reference. 1.1.11. GRADE 11 H. Demonstrate fluency and comprehension in reading. Read a variety of genres and types of text. Demonstrate comprehension. 1.2. Reading Critically in All Content Areas GRADES 5, 8, 11. A. Read and understand essential content of informational texts and documents in all academic areas. 1.3. Reading, Analyzing and Interpreting Literature GRADE 5 E. Analyze drama as information source, entertainment, persuasion or transmitter of culture. 1.3.8. GRADE 8 E. Analyze drama to determine the reasons for a character’s actions, taking into account the situation and basic motivation of the character. 1.3.11. GRADE 11 E. Analyze how a scriptwriter’s use of words creates tone and mood, and how choice of words advances the theme or purpose of the work. 1.4. Types of Writing GRADES 5, 8, 11. GRADE 5 A. Write poems, plays and multi-paragraph stories (GRADES 8 & 11 - and short stories). 1.4.5, 8, 11. C. Write persuasive pieces (Review of Opera Experience, p. 78). 1.5. Quality of Writing GRADES 5, 8, 11 A. Write with a sharp, distinct focus. 1.6. Speaking and Listening GRADES 5, 8, 11. B. Listen to selections of literature (fiction and/or nonf i c t i o n ) . C. Speak using skills appropriate to formal speech situations. E. Participate in small and large group discussions and presentations. F. Use media for learning purposes. 1.8. Research GRADES 5, 8, 11. A. Select and refine a topic for research. B. Locate information using appropriate sources and strategies. C. Organize, summarize and present the main ideas from research. Academic Standards for Mathematics 2.1. Numbers, Number Systems and Number Relationships 2.1.8. GRADE 8 A. Represent and use numbers in equivalent forms (e.g., integers, fractions, decimals, percents, exponents, scientific notation, square r o o t s ) . 2.2. Computation and Estimation 2.2.5. GRADE 5 A. Create and solve word problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers. 2.5 Mathematical Problem Solving and Communication 2.5.11. GRADE 11 A. Select and use appropriate mathematical concepts and techniques from different areas of mathematics and apply them to solving nonroutine and multi-step problems. Academic Standards for Science and Technology 3.1. Unifying Themes 3.1.10. GRADE 10 E. Describe patterns of change in nature, physical and man made systems. •Describe how fundamental science and technology concepts are used to solve practical problems (e. g., momentum, Newton’s laws of universal gravitation, tectonics, conservation of mass and energy, cell theory, theory of evolution, atomic theory, theory of relativity, Pasteur’s germ theory, relativity, heliocentric theory, gas laws, feedback systems). 3.2. Inquiry and Design GRADE 7 Apply process knowledge to make and interpret observations. GRADE 10 Apply process knowledge and organize scientific and technological phenomena in varied ways. GRADE 12 Evaluate experimental information for appropriateness and adherence to relevant science processes. 3.3. Biological Sciences 3.3.10. GRADE 10 D. Explain the mechanisms of the theory of evolution. 3.7. Technological Devices 3.7.7. GRADE 7 E. Explain basic computer communications systems. Describe the organization and functions of the basic parts that make up the World Wide Web. (Check operaphilly.com to see photos of the rehearsals and sets.) See Teacher’s Guide for additional science lessons. Academic Standards for Civics and Government 5.2. Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship 5.2.12. GRADE 12 C. Interpret the causes of conflict in society and analyze techniques to resolve those conflicts. Academic Standards for Geography 7.1. Basic Geographic Literacy 7.1.6. GRADE 6 A. Describe geographic tools and their uses. •Basis on which maps, graphs and diagrams are created. 7.3. The Human Characteristics of Places and Regions 7.3.6. GRADE 6 B. Explain the human characteristics of places and regions by their cultural characteristics. Academic Standards for History 8.2. Pennsylvania History 8.2.9. GRADE 9 8.2.12. GRADE 12 Pennsylvania’s public schools shall teach, challenge and support every student... skills needed to analyze the interaction of cultural, economic, geographic, political and social relations to. A. Analyze the... cultural contributions of individuals... to Pennsylvania history from 1787 to 1914. • Cultural and Commercial Leaders (e.g., Academy of Music architects Napoleon Le Brun & Gustav Rungé, opera star Marian Anderson). 8.3. U.S. History 8.3.9 GRADE 9 B. Identify and analyze primary documents, material artifacts and historic sites important in United States history from 1787 to 1914. • Historic Places (e. g., Academy of Music). 8.4. World History 8.4.6 GRADE 6 A. Identify and explain how individuals and groups made significant political and cultural contributions to world history. 8.4.12. GRADE 12 C. Evaluate how continuity and change throughout history has impacted belief systems and religions since 1450 C.E. Academic Standards for the Arts and Humanities 9.1. Production, Performance and Exhibition of Dance, Music,Theatre and Visual Arts A. Know and use the elements and principles of each art form to create works in the arts and humanities. I. Know where arts events, performances and exhibitions occur and how to gain admission. 9.2. Historical and Cultural Contexts C. Relate works in the arts to varying styles and genre and to the periods in which they were created (e.g., Renaissance, Classical, Modern, Post-Modern, Contemporary...). D. Analyze a work of art from its historical and cultural perspective. E. Analyze how historical events and culture impact forms, techniques and purposes of works in the arts. F. Know and apply appropriate vocabulary used between social studies and the arts and humanities.


State Standards Met


State Standards met in Falstaff Sounds of Learning™ Lessons:

Opera 101: Getting Ready for the Opera A Brief History of Western Opera Philadelphia’s Academy of Music Broad Street: Avenue of the Arts Opera Etiquette 101 Why I Like Opera by Taylor Baggs

1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1,

1.2, 1.2, 7.1, 1.2, 1.2,

1.3, 1.3, 7.3, 1.3, 1.3,

7.3, 7.3, 8.2, 9.1, 8.2,

8.4, 9.2 8.2, 8.3, 9.1, 9.2 9.1, 9.2 9.2 9.1

1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1,

1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 9.2 1.2, 1.2,

1.3, 1.8, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 9.2 1.8, 8.3, 8.4, 9.2 1.8, 8.3, 8.4, 9.2 1.3, 1.5, 8.2, 8.4, 9.2 7.1, 8.2, 8.4, 9.1, 9.2

1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1,

1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2,

1.3, 1.3, 1.3, 1.3,

9.2 9.2 6.1, 6.4, 7.1, 7.3, 9.2 1.6, 8.4, 9.2

1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1,

9.2 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2,

1.3, 1.3, 1.3, 1.3,

1.8, 1.8, 6.1, 6.1,

Relating Opera to History: The Culture Connection Giuseppe Verdi: Hero of Italy Verdi Timeline Make Your Own Timeline Game: Falstaff Crossword Puzzle Bard of Stratford - Williams Shakespeare All the World’s a Stage: The Globe Theatre

Falstaff: Libretto and Production Information Falstaff: Synopsis Meet the Artists Introducing Soprano Christine Goerke Falstaff LIBRETTO

Behind the Scenes: Careers in the Arts Game: Connect the Opera Terms So You Want to Sing Like an Opera Singer! The Highs and Lows of the Operatic Voice Life in the Opera Chorus: Julie-Ann Whitely The Subtle Art of Costume Design

3.1, 3.1, 6.4, 6.4,

3.2, 3.2, 7.1, 7.1,

9.1, 9.1, 7.3, 7.3,

Lessons Conflicts and Loves in Falstaff Review of Philadelphia’s First Falstaff 2006-2007 Season Subscriptions

1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 8.2, 9.1 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.8, 9.1, 9.2 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.5, 6.1, 9.1


1.1, 9.2

9.2 9.2 9.2 9.2

The School District of Philadelphia School Reform Commission James E. Nevels, Chairman Martin G. Bednarek, Sandra Dungee Glenn, James P. Gallagher, Ph.D, Daniel J. Whelan,

Sounds of Learning™ was established by a generous grant from The Annenberg Foundation. Dedicated funding for the Sounds of Learning™ program has been provided by:

$50,000 and above

member member

U.S. Department of Education

Alpin J. & Alpin W. Cameron Memorial Trust

member member

$20,000 to $49,999

Paul Vallas Chief Executive Officer

Gregory Thornton Chief Academic Officer

Dennis W. Creedon, Ed.D. Administrator, Office of Creative and Performing Arts

Connelly Foundation Glenmede Lincoln Financial Group Foundation

Robert B. Driver General and Artistic Director

ARAMARK Charitable Fund Ethel Sergeant Clark Smith Memorial Fund

Corrado Rovaris Music Director

David B. Devan

Community Programs Manager

Additional support is provided by the Independence Foundation and the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation. The Opera Company of Philadelphia receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

McLean Contributionship Morgan Stanley Foundation

Sheila Fortune Foundation Warwick Foundation Wachovia Foundation

$1,000 to $4,999

Hamilton Family Foundation

Louis N. Cassett Foundation

Hirsig Family Fund Merck & Co., Inc PNC Bank

The Opera Company of Philadelphia is supported by major grants from The William Penn Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and The Lenfest Foundation.

Barra Foundation


Managing Director

Michael Bolton

Bank of America Foundation

Samuel S. Fels Fund

$10,000 to $19,999 Opera Company of Philadelphia

$5,000 to $9,999

Presser Foundation Universal Health Services

1420 Locust Street Suite 210 Philadelphia, PA 19102 T (215) 893-3600 F (215) 893-7801 www.operaphilly.com

2006-07season 2006 October 27, 29m, November 1, 3, 5m & 11

2006 November 8, 10, 12m, 15, 17 & 19m

2007 February 9, 11m, 14, 16, 18m & 24

2007 May 2, 4, 6m, 9, 11 & 13m