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'Merry Wives of Windsor' — The Opera

Tuesday, Apr. 08, 2014

graphic illustration for USU Opera presentation of 'The Merry Wives of Windsor'

USU's music department presents the opera "Merry Wives of Windsor" April 11 and 12, 7:30 p.m., Morgan Theatre, Chase Fine Arts Center.

The Department of Music at Utah State University presents the opera The Merry Wives of Windsor Friday and Saturday, April 11 and 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Morgan Theatre of the Chase Fine Arts Center on USU’s Logan campus.

Merry Wives of Windsor is a comedic opera by Otto Nicolai based on the Shakespeare play of the same name. Sir John Falstaff, a confirmed bachelor in love with drink and long past his prime, finds that he is short on funds and connives to tactlessly woo two well-to-do, married women. Falstaff has underestimated Alice Ford and Meg Page. When the two ladies realize that he wrote both of them the exact same love letter, they decide to turn the tables and teach Falstaff a lesson.

“It amazes me that a story written over 400 years ago can still delight audiences today,” said Dallas Heaton, associate professor of opera in the Caine College of the Arts. “Full of comic moments and lovable characters that we can still identify with, Merry Wives of Windsor is one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies and has been a staple of the theatrical and operatic repertoire since its premiere.”

USU Opera Theatre presents Merry Wives of Windsor by adapting the piece and trading out the standard Elizabethan setting for a more modern time and place. Sir John Falstaff transforms into a former member of a one-hit-wonder boy band who still has an appetite for celebrity lifestyle. The Fords become a successful, professional couple. The Page family struggles to make ends meet as they put their daughter, Anne, through school on their blue-collar income.

“When you set these themes to Nicolai’s simultaneously joyful and sincere music, a fantastically enjoyable and memorable evening of theater is created,” said Heaton. “By the time the final chords sound, it will be equally evident to the audience why this story has lasted four centuries!”

Tickets for Merry Wives of Windsor are $10 adults, $8 seniors and youth, $5 faculty and staff and free for USU students with valid ID. For more information and tickets, visit the CCA Box Office in room 139-B of the Chase Fine Arts Center, call 435-797-8022 or see the college’s Production Services website.

Related links:

Writer: Whitney Schulte, 435-797-9203,

Contact: Denise Albiston, 435-797-1500,

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