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(Verdi: Falstaff). Bar. Husband of Alice and father of Nannetta. He plans to marry his daughter to old Dr Caius. He learns of Falstaff's plan to seduce his wife and, disguised, offers to help him (in order to spy on his wife and see her reaction). He accompanies Falstaff to the Ford house and is heard coming in to interrupt the meeting. Falstaff is bundled into a laundry‐basket and tipped into the river, and Alice is able to point him out to her husband as the fat knight struggles ashore. Ford joins the ladies in teaching Falstaff a further lesson and is himself tricked into consenting to the marriage of his daughter and Fenton, the young man she loves—couples are brought to him, still in disguise, and he blesses their union, only to find he has ‘married’ Caius to Bardolph and Nannetta to Fenton. He, like Falstaff, accepts the inevitable. Aria: È sogno? O realtà … Due rami enormi crescon…(‘Am I dreaming? Or is it true…? I feel two enormous horns…’—known as Ford's Jealousy Aria). Created (1893) by Antonio Pini‐Corsi, who later became an equally famous Falstaff, as did several other interpreters of Ford, including Mariano Stabile, Leonard Warren, Tito Gobbi, and Bryn Terfel.

Subjects: Opera.

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