Give Now

Ether Game

Nicolai: Merry Wives of Windsor

Here’s a hint: It’s Shakespeare. . . with a German twist!

One of Shakespeare’s most famous and lovable characters is the fat and foolish knight Sir John Falstaff. Not only does he play a huge role in Parts 1 and 2 of Henry IV, but he’s also the featured comic force in The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Many musical masterpieces are either based on Merry Wives or feature Falstaff as a central character, including works by Salieri, Verdi, Elgar and Vaughan Williams. Another musical interpretation of this comic play has been revived off and on through the years, and that is Otto Nicolai’s opera The Merry Wives of Windsor.

The overture is a staple of the orchestral repertoire, though the opera itself deserves to be performed much more often than it does. Nicolai’s Merry Wives is a classic example of the German Singspiel opera, an opera that includes spoken dialogue mixed in with the music. Nicolai’s opera stays very true to Shakespeare’s original play and is equally as funny and entertaining!

Music Heard On This Episode

Otto Nicolai (1810-1849): The Merry Wives of Windsor: Overture
Arthur Fiedler/The Boston Pops Orchestra — Fielder Greatest Hits (RCA, 1991)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Otto Nicolai (1810-1849): The Merry Wives of Windsor: Overture
Arthur Fiedler/The Boston Pops Orchestra — Fielder Greatest Hits (RCA, 1991)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Ether Game:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Ether Game

Search Ether Game

Ether Game is on Twitter