Les Joyeuses Commères de Windsor in Liege


wallonieSeason : 2014-2015

Length : 3h30

Song language : German
Conductor :
Christian Zacharias
Director :
David Hermann
Choirmaster :
Marcel Seminara
Artist :
Franz Hawlata, Anneke Luyten, Werner Van Mechelen, Sabina Willeit, Laurent Kubla, Davide Giusti, Sophie Junker, Stefan Cifolelli, Patrick Delcour, Sébastien Dutrieux
Number of performances :
Dates :
Fri, 30/01/2015 to Sat, 07/02/2015

First time at the Opera.

About the cast

Considered one of the greatest German pianists today, Christian Zacharias also pursues an extraordinary career as a conductor.

This remarkable musical explorer will find his perfect match through this work which is infused with a more than seductive musical power and which dazzlingly pulls off a fusion of the German and Italian styles.

On the cast side, among others, we have Sabina Willeit (L’Equivoco Stravagante), Franz Hawlata (Fidelio), Werner Van Mechelen (Stradella) and, for the first time, the Belgian soprano Anneke Luyten, semi-finalist in the Reine Elisabeth award in 2011, who has just made her appearance at the Vlaamse Opera in Parsifal.

The story of Les Joyeuses Commères de Windsor

Sir John Falstaff leads a dissipated life.

Permanently penniless, he sends the same love letter to Frau Fluth and Frau Reich, two rich bourgeois women.

The latter, seeing through the ruse, are highly put out.

From that time on, their only amusement comes at the expense of the inept suitor.

Now thrown into the Thames with the dirty laundry, now expelled from the room with great sweeps of the broom while disguised as a woman, Falstaff becomes the laughing-stock of the village children when he walks through the woods in a ghost costume.

Libretto: Hermann Von Mosenthal
after the play by William Shakespeare
New production: Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège,
in coproduction with Opéra de Lausanne


Conductor: Christian Zacharias
Director: David Hermann*
Set designs: Rifail Ajdarpasic*
Costume designs: Ariane Isabell Unfried*
Lighting designs: Fabrice Kebour

Choirmaster: Marcel Seminara
Orchestra & Choirs: Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège

Sir John Falstaff: Franz Hawlata
Frau Fluth: Anneke Luyten*
Herr Fluth: Werner Van Mechelen
Frau Reich: Sabina Willeit
Herr Reich: Laurent Kubla
Fenton: Davide Giusti*
Jungfer Anna Reich: Sophie Junker
Junker Spärlich: Stefan Cifolelli
Dr. Caïus: Patrick Delcour
The therapist: Sébastien Dutrieux
1st citizen: Patrick Mignon

About the opera

In these Joyeuses Commères de Windsor by Nicolaï and Von Mosenthal, the number of characters is limited to the most important ones.Unlike Verdi who set the comedy by Shakespeare to music forty-five years later and turned Falstaff into the central character, Nicolaï lends very specific importance to the main female roles.Frau Fluth and Frau Reich are the string-pullers of all the pranks.For her part, Anna, Frau Reich’s daughter, knows full well how to take advantage of the situation in order to organise her wedding to Fenton.With Verdi, Falstaff possesses human grandeur and a certain philosophical wisdom.With Nicolaï, he is the typical flawed character…

Shakespeare wrote the Merry Wives of Windsor in less than two weeks in order to satisfy Elizabeth I who, having enjoyed the character of Falstaff in Henry IV, had expressed the desire to see him back on the stage

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