Edward Reicinn- Verdi’s Falstaff

A consultant with M. Putterman & Co. and MPC Containment International, Ltd., Edward Reicin has served for many years as an attorney and business owner. Supplementing these responsibilities, Edward Reicin performed opera in Chicago for 30 years. As a talented bass, he played various roles, including Pistola in L’Opera piccola’s Falstaff.

Of the nearly 300 Shakespeare-inspired operas, Giuseppe Verdi has produced three of the most beloved. Along with Macbeth and Otello, he created Falstaff, based on Henry V’s debauched mentor. Although appearing as a side character in Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Window and Henry IV, parts 1 and 2, Sir John Falstaff quickly earned a reputation as one of Shakespeare’s most fun characters.

Approaching 80 years old, Verdi started writing the Italian opera Falstaff with librettist Arrigo Boito. Writing his first comic piece in over half a century, Verdi provided a sense of liveliness and fun worthy of the character. The plot concerns the protagonist attempting to scam two women out of their money before his plot is foiled. Its first performance took place in 1893 at Teatro alla Scala in Milano, Italy. Two years later, it made its North American debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Still popular after more than a century, Falstaff returned to the Metropolitan Opera in 2013 with a reinterpretation set in post-World War II England.


Ed Reicin on Giuseppe Verdi

Professional bass opera singer, Edward Reicin, has performed roles in many noted operas by well-known composers such as Mozart, Puccini, and Verdi. In one such performance at L’Opera Piccola in Chicago, Illinois, Ed Reicin played the role of Pistola in composer Giuseppe Verdi’s final opera, Falstaff. Best known for his operatic compositions, Verdi wrote 26 operas throughout his career, resulting in music that remains popular and highly recognizable in modern day. For instance, even nonopera lovers recognize “Libiamo Ne’ Lieti Calici” (The Drinking Song) from La Traviata, and others may recognize “La donna e mobile” from Rigoletto, which is a popularly used theme in modern media.

Influenced by earlier composers such as Rossini and Donizetti, Verdi sought out stories and libretto that highlighted his musical gifts, leading to classic operas, which retain a place in many opera companies’ regular rotations and remain popular more than a century after his death. Popular works include Rigoletto, based on Victor Hugo’s Le Roi s’amuse; La Traviata, based on the Alexandre Dumas, fils, novel, La Dame aux Camélias (The Lady of the Camellias); Don Carlos, a five-act French Grand Opera; Aida; and Otello, based on the Shakespeare play Othello.

By Edward E. Reicin