Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.







Recently in FeaturedOperas

Martín y Soler: Una cosa rara

Una cosa rara, ossia Bellezza ed onestà. Dramma giocoso in two acts.

Music composed by Vicente Martín y Soler (1754–1806). Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte from the comedy La luna de la Sierra by Luis Vélez de Guevara.

THOMAS: Hamlet, Moscow 2015

Hamlet: Opéra in five acts. Music composed by Ambroise Thomas. Libretto by Michel Carré and Jules Barbier after The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare.

Das Liebesverbot, Vienna 1962

Das Liebesverbot: Grosse komische Oper in two acts.

Jules Massenet: Le Cid

Le Cid, Opéra in 4 acts

Vincenzo Bellini: I puritani

I puritani, opera seria in three acts

Vincenzo Bellini: Zaira

Zaira, Tragedia lirica in two acts.

G. F. Handel: Athalia

Athalia: Oratorio (sacred drama) in 3 acts

DONIZETTI: Lucrezia Borgia

Lucrezia Borgia: Melodramma in a prologue and two acts.

BERTIN: La Esmeralda

La Esmeralda: Opéra in four acts.

VERDI: Ernani — Florence 1957

Ernani: Dramma lirico in four parts.

von Waltershausen: Oberst Chabert

Oberst Chabert (Colonel Chabert): Tragic opera in 3 acts.

VERDI: Otello — La Scala 1954

Otello: Dramma lirico in four acts.
Music composed by Giuseppe Verdi. Libretto by Arrigo Boito after The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice by William Shakespeare.

HAHN: Le Marchand de Venise

Le Marchand de Venise (“The Merchant of Venice”): Opéra in three acts.

STORACE: Gli Equivoci

Gli Equivoci (The Comedy of Errors): Opera in two acts.

MARTIN: Der Sturm

Der Sturm: Opera in three acts

PURCELL: The Fairy-Queen

The Fairy-Queen: Semi-opera in five acts.

VERDI: Macbeth — Vienna 2009

Macbeth: Melodramma in quattro parti.

WAGNER: Das Liebesverbot

Das Liebesverbot: Grosse komische Oper in two acts.

VERDI: Falstaff — Wales 2008

Falstaff: Commedia lirica in three acts.

THOMAS: Hamlet — London 2003

Hamlet: Opéra in five acts.

Music composed by Ambroise Thomas. Libretto by Michel Carré and Jules Barbier after The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare.



Henri Decaisne, Maria Malibran as Desdemona in Rossini's Otello (1831) Paris, Musée Carnavalet [Source: Wikimedia Commons]
15 Nov 2009

ROSSINI: Otello — Bad Wildbad 2008

Otello, ossia Il moro di Venezia (‘Othello, or The Moor of Venice’): Dramma in three acts.

Streaming Audio

Gioachino Rossini: Otello

Otello: Michael Spyres; Elmiro: Ugo Guagliardo; Desdemona: Jessica Pratt; Rodrigo: Filippo Adami; Jago: Giorgio Trucco; Emilia: Geraldine Chauvet; Doge: Sean Spyres; Lucio: Hugo Colin; Gondoliere: Leonardo Cortellazzi. Philharmonic Choir Transsilvania Cluj. Virtuosi Brunensis. Antonino Fogliani, conductor. Live performance, Kurhaus Bad Wildbad, 19 July 2008.

Above: Maria Malibran as Desdemona in Rossini's Otello by Henri Decaisne (1831) Paris, Musée Carnavalet [Source: Wikimedia Commons]


Music composed by Gioachino Rossini. Libretto by Francesco Berio di Salsa after William Shakespeare’s play Othello, or The Moor of Venice.

First Performance: 4 December 1816, Teatro del Fondo, Naples.

Prinicpal Roles:
Otello, a Moor in the Serivce of Venice Tenor
Desdemona, secretly married to Otello Mezzo-Soprano
Iago, the pretended friend of Otello Tenor
Emilia, confidant of Desdemona Mezzo-Soprano
Elmiro, a Venetian patrician, the father of Desdemona and enemy of Otello Bass
Roderigo, the rejected lover of Desdemona and son of the Doge Tenor
The Doge of Venice Tenor
Lucio Tenor
A Gondolier Tenor

Setting: Venice

Synopsis: The opera deviates quite heavily from Shakespeare's original, not only in that it takes place in Venice and not on Cyprus, but also in that the whole dramatic conflict develops in a different manner. A recent Opera Rara CD of the opera even includes an alternative happy ending, a common practice with drama and opera at one time. The role of Jago is reduced to some degree and is much less diabolical as in the original or in Verdi's 1887 version. Rossini's Otello is an important milestone in the development of opera as musical drama. It provided Giuseppe Verdi with a benchmark for his own adaptations of Shakespeare.

[Synopsis source: Wikipedia]

[Click here for a more complete synopsis (Italian).]

[Click here for the complete libretto.]

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):