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Throughout his life Verdi had pursued the dream of writing a comic opera without ever finding the appropriate subject. But on the threshold of eighty years, that dream comes true with Falstaff, born from the renewed collaboration with the now irreplaceable Arrigo Boito. Excluding "Un Giorno di Regno", a sensational youth fiasco of 1840, Falstaff is the only comic opera, as well as the last opera, of Verdi's production. And to think that Verdi's love for Shakespeare was long-standing and The Merry Wives of Windsor, source of Boito's libretto along with the first two parts of Henry IV, one of his favorite comedies. It was therefore Boito's insistence that spurred the old maestro to get back into the game with a "lyrical comedy that resembles no other" as Verdi said. On 9 February 1893 Falstaff made his debut at the Teatro alla Scala accompanied by a great success. After more than fifty years spent in transferring dramas and torments of the human soul to music, Verdi greeted the world of opera with the sly smile of someone who has experienced everything to the fullest and still continues to do so. And Falstaff's score abounds in musical experimentation. Just think of the pseudo-symphonic sonata-form that opens the first act, the fugue buffa that closes the opera, a playful page of admirable collective virtuosity, the flexible and flowing declamations that suddenly open up to moments of ample and unexpected cantability. Falstaff is the work of an amusing and amused Verdi. After all, as the final theme reads: “Everything in the world is a joke. Man was born a joker ".