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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.]

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