Dec. 10-13: The Merry Wives of Windsor

Where: Harper Joy Theatre

When: Thursday, December 10 to Sunday, December 13


The Merry Wives of Windsor

A Comic Opera after Shakespeare’s Play with Music by Otto Nicolai and Libretto by Hermann von Mosenthal in an English Version by Donald Pippin. Produced by Harper Joy Theatre and the Whitman College Department of Music. Sung in English with full orchestra.

Dates and times: 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 10-12; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13.

Location: Alexander Stage, Harper Joy Theatre at Whitman College

Box office: 509-527-5180. 10 a.m.- noon, and 1-4 p.m. weekdays. (Note: The box office will be closed during the week of Nov. 23 for the Thanksgiving holiday.)

Season ticket reservations available beginning Nov. 20. Single-ticket reservations available beginning Nov. 30. For more information, contact Nancy Simon,


Production Staff:

Conductor: Robert Bode/Director: Nancy Simon/Musical Coach Lee D. Thompson/Scenic Designer Thomas Hines/Costume Designer Robin Waytenick Smasne/Lighting Designer Ian Jagel


Mistress Ford McKenna Milici
Mistress Page Kaley Eaton
Master Ford Harrison Fulop
Master Page Michael Blackwood
Sir John Falstaff Daniel Oakden
Anne Page Jacqueline Kamm
Fenton Nathan Shiu
Slender Logan Skirm
Cajus David Otten

Chorus: Lian Caspi, Miriam Cook, Michelle Davenport, Caitlin Goldie, Julianne Graper, Jane Lutken, Rebecca Weitzel, Jeremy Balch, Jasper Bash, Adam Caniparoli, Michael Putnam, Zach Simonson, Stanislav Walmer

About the opera:

Falstaff in love! Nikolai’s delightful comic opera, based on Shakespeare’s play, pits the amorous elderly knight against the two wily housewives he is simultaneously wooing. Mrs. Ford must also find a way to cure her husband of his jealousy, and Mrs. Page’s daughter Anne must find a way to marry her ardent young suitor, Fenton, rather than the rich and pompous fops her parents have proposed. “Tricks are in season when love’s the reason,” and after a mad revel in a “haunted” forest, the merry wives—three of them now—triumph. Guest artist Daniel Oakden will sing the role of Falstaff. A Seattle resident, Oakden has sung for numerous Northwest companies including Seattle Opera, Tacoma Opera, Seattle Symphony, and Lyric Opera Northwest.

Daniel Oakden

About the composer:

Prussian-born Otto Nicolai (1810-1849) ran away from home at age sixteen to escape a domineering father who wished to exploit his son’s talents. After an impoverished sojourn as an itinerant pianist, he found a patron who enabled him to study music in Berlin, and he at last found some security when he was hired as the organist of the Prussian embassy in Rome. He set his first four operas to Italian libretti, and they had their premieres in Trieste, Turin, Genoa, and Milan. In 1841, he became principal conductor of the Hofoper in Vienna, and in the ensuing years founded and was the first conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic. Directed by the Hofoper to compose a German opera, Nicolai responded with Die lustigen weiber von Windsor. The Hofoper then rejected the work, which was taken up by the Berlin Staatsoper, where it had its very successful premiere under the baton of the composer in 1849. Two months later, the 38 year-old Nicolai died of a stroke.

Otto Nikolai