With Falstaff, Verdi bid a magnificent farewell to opera. He chose, however, a genre that he wasn't familiar with: the comic opera. His librettist, Boito, gave Verdi a text, adapted from a Shakespeare play, that allowed him to express all his skills and power, giving the musicians as important role as the characters. Verdi brought something new to opera at a time when his prior works had already become classics. This last Verdi opera was first played in front of an enthusiastic Milanese public and ended Verdi's work on an happy note.
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