OTELLO
Revivals

OTELLO
Giuseppe Verdi
1813 - 1901

Dramma lirico in four acts
Libretto by Arrigo Boito after Othello by William Shakespeare
First performed February 5th 1887, Teatro alla Scala, Milan

Sung in Italian with German surtitles
Duration: c. 2 hrs. 45 min. incl. one interval

About the piece

After a ten year period of stagnation Verdi exploded onto the scene again with his Otello, a new beginning, an exciting sta ...
After a ten year period of stagnation Verdi exploded onto the scene again with his Otello, a new beginning, an exciting start to the last phase of his composing career. New were expressive pictures of sound, the opening, thundering, storm scene. New were the violently errupting tutti outbursts from the orchestra. Otello, the governor of Venice is greeted with jubilation on Cyprus after his return from a victorious battle at sea. But Jago, his standard bearer, hates the Moor because of Cassio's promotion over him. His evil plan destroys his rival's integrity and fans the flames of Otello's jealousy by insinuating that his wife Desdemona has taken Cassio as her lover. The tragedy runs its course, culminating in Otello killing Desdemona and then taking his own life. Verdi and his brilliant librettist Arrigo Boito made Jago's character almost satanic. Never before in the history of opera had evil acquired such blasphemic expression as in Jago's aria: »I believe in a cruel God, who has created me in his likeness.« Otello's wife Desdemona, the victim in the tragedy, is the diametrical opposite to this evil. The central character stands torn between these two extremes. This opera does not »open« with a normal overture, it crashs in, a storm rages. Otello tries to swim to the surface in the towering waves of his own dreadful story. He is only able to set aside the stigma attached to his dark skin for short amounts of time. Desdemona’s unconditional and obstinate love make her a fighter for forgiveness and goodness. The role will be sung by Leah Crocetto, a young star of the music world. Desdemona’s antithesis is Jago, driven by his belief »in a cruel god«. His credo is one of the most powerful moments in Verdi’s late masterpiece. Clever, and in his malicious way horribly understanding, Jago knows just how to steer Otello back onto the path of trauma and brutality. His tormented mind devours Desdemona as well as the »Moor of Venice«.

Synopsis

Otello returns safely to Cyprus in a raging storm and is welcomed home by all except Jago, who hates Otello because he passed him ...
Otello returns safely to Cyprus in a raging storm and is welcomed home by all except Jago, who hates Otello because he passed him over for promotion in favour of Cassio, and is working on a plan to destroy Otello. He advises Cassio to ask Desdemona, Otello’s wife, to try and persuade Otello to pardon him. Jago sows seeds of jealousy in Otello’s mind, making him suspect that Desdemona of being unfaithful with Cassio. Desdemona’s protestations of innocence are to no avail - he kills her. Horrified by Desdemona’s murder, Emilia reveals the truth. Jago flees. Otello lies against Desdemona’s body. Life, as we know it, has ceased to exist for him. Otello returns safely to Cyprus in a raging storm and is welcomed home by all except Jago, who hates Otello because he passed him over for promotion in favour of Cassio, and is working on a plan to destroy Otello. He advises Cassio to ask Desdemona, Otello’s wife, to try and persuade Otello to pardon him. Jago sows seeds of jealousy in Otello’s mind, making him suspect that Desdemona of being unfaithful with Cassio. Desdemona’s protestations of innocence are to no avail - he kills her. Horrified by Desdemona’s murder, Emilia reveals the truth. Jago flees. Otello lies against Desdemona’s body. Life, as we know it, has ceased to exist for him.


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The opening night will be recorded by the Hessische Rundfunk in co-production with Deutschlandradio Kultur. The Hessische Rundfunk broadcasts the premiere live on hr2-kultur (with a lead-in, beginning at 5.30pm). Deutschlandradio Kultur broadcasts the recording once again on December 10th 2011, beginning at 7.05pm.
Performances

Thursday 28.03.2013 19:30 h

Further performances

Opera House
Subscription: series 09

Pre-booking and Pricing

Cast

Conductor
Riccardo Frizza
Director
Johannes Erath
Assistant for the Revival
Orest Tichonov
Stage Designer
Dirk Becker
Costume Designer
Silke Willrett
Lighting Designer
Joachim Klein
Dramaturge
Norbert Abels
Chorus and Extra Chorus Master
Matthias Köhler
Children's Chorus Master
Felix Lemke

Otello
Frank van Aken
Jago
Marco di Felice
Desdemona
Leah Crocetto
Emilia
Jenny Carlstedt
Cassio
Beau Gibson
Rodrigo
Simon Bode
Lodovico
Bálint Szabó
Montano
Franz Mayer
Herold
Kihwan Sim

Chorus and Orchestra of Oper Frankfurt


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