Falstaff is Giuseppe Verdi’s last opera. With it, the aged composer once again tried his hand at comic opera, a genre that he had not touched since his failed opera Un giorno di regno nearly 50 years earlier. Falstaff was premièred in 1893 at La Scala Milan just a few weeks before the première of the first truly resounding success by the young Giacomo Puccini, Manon Lescaut. Thus a kind of compositional transfer to the next generation had taken place. The opera tells the story of the corpulent, down-at-heel knight Falstaff, who hopes for both amorous and financial reward from two married ladies. He courts them clumsily and is ultimately led a merry dance by them. The opera ends with a colossal fugue that has gone down in music history, summing up in music the lesson learned from the work: everything in the world’s a jest. The current new production by Sir David McVicar premièred in December 2016 under the baton of Zubin Mehta.