Home > Otello
First performed February 5, 1887.
Libretto by Arrigo Boito (in Itarian),
In the late 15th century, on the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean, Otello, a general in the Venetian army, completely destroys the Turkish navy. Otello is an African black, and a Moor.
Iago, Otello’s subordinate, holds a grudge against Otello, because Otello gives the position of deputy to Cassio who is Iago’s rival. Iago plies Cassio with drink, and Cassio makes a spectacle of himself. Otello dismisses Cassio from his post.
Iago tells Cassio that he should ask Otello’s wife, Desdemona, about his reinstatement, because Otello is influenced by his wife. Conversely, Iago also tells Otello that he should suspect the close relationship between his wife and Cassio.
In addition, Iago comes up with a cunning plan. He forces his wife Emilia, Desdemona’s maid, to steal one of Desdemona’s handkerchiefs. And Iago puts this handkerchief in the house of Cassio.
Otello sees Cassio holding Desdemona’s handkerchief in his hand. Otello has no doubt of his wife’s betrayal, and makes up his mind to kill her.
That night, before she goes to bed, she prays. As she prays, she gets an ominous feeling something terrible is about to happen to her. Otello enters the room, and throttles her before she can beg for giveness.
Emilia rushes into the room, and tells Otello that Iago forced her to be a part in his devious plot, and everything is Iago’s deception. But she is too late.
Otello falls into despair of ever seeing his faithful wife again, and he kills himself with a short dagger.
|“Otello” is the 25th title of the 26 operas which were composed by Verdi. Verdi was 74 years
old when he composed it. He thought deeply in composing this opera. Of
course, the original of this opera’s libretto is Shakespeare’s “Othello.”
The opera “Otello” was born from combination of Shakespeare’s masterpiece
and composition by experienced and skilled Verdi. This opera has the perfect
The title role, Otello, is sung by the “dramatic tenor” which requires
a powerful voice and dramatic expression. Otello is such a difficult role
that only a handful of tenors can sing properly. Mario Del Monaco was good
at singing Otello in his time. Placido Domingo also is good in this role.
At present, Jose Cura is famous for singing this role well.
Otello’s wife, Desdemona, is a beautiful but tragic
heroine. She is throttled by her husband for being unfaithful. Even though they
were on good terms at first, they sing the beautiful love duet in the last
scene of act 1. Before she dies in act 3, she has two opportunities to sing.
They are beautiful arias, “Willow Song” and “Ave Maria.” I hope you will enjoy
listening to them being sung by a prima donna.
|Gluck, C. W. (1714-1787)
- Orpheus and Eurydice
Mozart, W. A. (1756-1791)
- The Marriage of Figaro
- Don Giovanni
- Cosi fan tutte
- The Magic Flute
Beethoven, L. v. (1770-1827)
Weber, C. M. v. (1786-1826)
- The Magic Bullets
Rossini, G. (1792-1868)
- The Barber of Seville
Donizetti, G. (1797-1848)
- The Elixir of Love
Verdi, G. (1813-1901)
- Il trovatore
- La Traviata
- Un ballo in maschera
- Don Carlo
Wagner, R. (1813-1883)
- The Flying Dutchman
- Tristan und Isolde
- Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg
- The Rhinegold
- Die Walkure
- Twilight of the Gods
Offenbach, J. (1819-1880)
- The Tales of Hoffmann
Strauss, J. (1825-1899)
- Die Fledermaus (The Bat)
Bizet, G. (1838-1875)
Tchaikovsky, P. J. (1840-1893)
- Eugene Onegin
Massenet, J. (1842-1912)
Humperdinck, E. (1854-1921)
- Hansel and Gretel
Puccini, G. (1858-1924)
- La Boheme
- Madama Butterfly
Leoncavallo, R. (1858-1919)
Mascagni, P. (1863-1945)
- Cavalleria Rusticana
Debussy, C. (1862-1918)
- Pelleas et Melisande
Strauss, R. (1864-1949)
- The Cavalier of the Rose
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