Overture to the Opera "Falstaff or the three Jokes"

ANTONIO SALIERI, the celebrated Italian composer and teacher, who established himself as one of the leading authors in European opera in the second half of the 18th century with his 40 or so operas written in Italian, French and German, created the two-act Dramma giocoso (entertaining drama) FALSTAF OR THE THREE JOKES, based on the libretto by Carlo Prospero Defranceschi after William Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. It was first performed at the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna on January 3rd, 1799, and has since been staged many times in Europe and America. Scholars find some influence from Mozart and in particular from Le nozze di Figaro, which was being successfully revived at the time in Vienna .

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