The Merry Wives of Windsor (in German: Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor) is an opera in three acts by Carl Otto Nicolai to a German libretto by Salomon Hermann von Mosenthal, based on the play The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare. First performance: Royal Opera House, Berlin, 1849.
There are several recordings of the opera, and it is occasionally performed. There are also several recordings of the overture by itself. Verdi chose the same play for the basis of his opera Falstaff, though the two operas differ greatly. In particular, Nicolai's version is a Singspiel, containing much spoken dialogue between distinct musical numbers. Verdi's version, his last work, is through-composed without dialogue. He seamlessly links all the ensembles and arias.