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Verdi wrote only two comic operas in his long career: at the very beginning and at the very end. Nobody remembers the first one, but Falstaff belongs on any list of the ten best operas ever written, with its humor both broad and sly, its loving realization of Shakespeare's characters (most of the opera is taken from The Merry Wives of Windsor, and it's actually funnier in Verdi's version) and, most of all, its deep humanity. Listen for the sarcasm in the orchestra underneath Dame Quickly's salutations and check out how Verdi made the Thames splash when Sir John is emptied from the window. As is always the case with Dover scores, Falstaff is a reprint of another publishing house's work, without English translations. [via]