After an unparalleled succession of tragic operas, Verdi finished his
operatic career with a comedy. It has a thread of intriguing musical cross-
references and a great richness of musical resource, as well as subtle
delineation of character. It has enchanting love-music, too; but it is the
depiction of Falstaff himself and the web of conspiracy round him that
gives the opera its chief celebrity. Verdi's congenial librettist Arrigo
Boito created a sparkling adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Merry Wives of
Windsor" and "Henry IV". "Falstaff" was premiered in Milan in 1893.