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Teatro Regio, Sunday 7 October 2007 - Wednesday 24 October 2007
Epoch: Reign of King Henry of England.
First part. Inside the Garter Inn. The innkeeper brings the bill to Sir John Falstaff, who discovers he cannot pay it and thus accuses his followers Bardolph and Pistol of drinking too much. The only way to manage to scrape together some money is to woo two wealthy women. He writes the same declaration of love to both of them: one addressed to Alice Ford, the other to Meg Page.
Second part. Meg and Alice discover they have received the same letter and decide to take revenge on Sir John. Bardolph and Pistol reveal Falstaff’s plot to Ford, Alice’s husband, who also decides to make him pay.
First part. Quickly brings a message from Alice to Falstaff: she is expecting you between two and three, when her husband is away. Falstaff also receives Mr. Fontana (it is Ford under a false name) who urges him, in exchange for money, to seduce Alice, the woman he loves and who instead rejects him. Falstaff, convinced he is a great seducer, accepts, and is reassured by Fontana: Alice is already waiting for you. Ford is tormented by jealousy.
Second part. Falstaff joins Alice and awkwardly woos her, but Ford is coming and Alice has him hide in a laundry basket. Ford has her search the house. Behind a screen she hears a smacking kiss: it is Ford’s daughter Nannette and Fenton. Alice orders the servants to empty the basket in the Thames.
First Part. Falstaff, cold after his bath in the Thames, falls into the trap again and lets Quickly convince him to join Alice in the woods, at midnight, disguised as the Black Huntsman.
Second Part. Masquerading as fairies and elves, everyone is ready to make fun of Falstaff, who is more than a little spooked. The joke begins and Ford announces the marriage between the queen of the fairies, his daughter and Doctor Caius, but Alice introduces another disguised couple who are about to get married. When everyone takes off their masks, Caius discovers he has married Bardolph, and even Fenton and Nannette are married. Ford gives in and Falstaff ironically begins to sing “The whole world is a joke”.