Quickly, Mistress

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(Verdi: Falstaff). Mez. One of the Merry Wives of Windsor, friend of Alice Ford and Meg Page. She agrees to help Alice and Meg, both of whom Falstaff is trying to seduce to get at their husbands’ money. She acts as the carrier of notes from the two ladies to Falstaff, arranging a meeting for him with Alice at the Ford home, telling him to be there dalle due alle tre (‘from two to three’) when Ford will not be at home. During that meeting, it is Mistress Quickly who warns Alice that her husband, jealous and suspicious, has returned and is about to enter the room to try and catch her with Falstaff. Aria: Reverenza! (‘Your worship’). In the right hands this is a delightful role, and can be very amusing as long as the humour is not overdone—it's all there in the music and just needs to be sung ‘straight’. Created (1893) by Giuseppina Pasqua (wife of the conductor Leopoldo Mugnone; she was Eboli in the 1884 revision of Don Carlo).

Subjects: Opera.

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