Antonio Salieri set Shakespeare's comedy the Merry Wives of Windsor to music in 1799, and his work was successfully premiered in Vienna the same year. Michael Hampe staged Salieris's Falstaff at the Schwetzingen SWR Festival in 1995 with similar success - wonderfully supported by the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Arnold Ostman. The libretto by Carlo Prospero Defranceschi reduces Shakespeare's original play to a few main characters and drastically simplifies the plot. This gives John Del Carlo, Teresa Ringholz, Richard Croftand Delores Zieglera lot of space for their artistic interpretation and brilliant singing. The work lives from the wealth of the Italian opera buff and absorbed influences from the German Singspiel (song-play), and delights with a number of great arias.