Shakespeare’s opera giants – Othello and Falstaff
We shall be exploring, with numerous musical examples and probably a few surprises, how various composers have treated these two dramatic characters culminating in the masterpieces of Verdi. Some twenty plays of Shakespeare have been given the operatic treatment by over fifty composers, some many times. For example The Tempest has been set by a least nine composers. However it was Shakespeare’s two great character portrayals of Othello and Falstaff which inspired Verdi, at the end of his composing life, to encompass the full range of his tragic and comic genius in what some feel to be his greatest works. We will be following the story of their composition.
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