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Otello © ROH / Catherine Ashmore

Verdi Otello

From 28 March TO 13 April 2021
Gran Teatre del Liceu - Barcelona
Program

Verdi : Otello

3h10
Cast
  • Conductor
    Riccardo Frizza
  • Director
    Keith Warner
  • Performers
    Otello: Jorge de León
    Desdemona: Eleonora Buratto
    Iago: Zeljko Lucic
    Cassio: Airam Hernandez
    Lodovico: Felipe Bou
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Gran Teatre del Liceu - Barcelona Location La Rambla, 51-59 - 08002 Barcelona Espagne

  • Venue's Capacity: 2290
  • Other : PRICE: The Gran Teatre del Liceu uses "Dynamic Pricing" that means that Prices for all performances are subject to change (increase and decrease) based on their sales. So, the prices may have changed, you will be informed of the new price as soon as possible, you will then be able to choose wether you want to buy your tickets at the new price or to cancel your booking (your credit card will not be charged).

On 4 April 1847, the Gran Teatre del Liceu established by Miguel Garriga, opened its doors with a very diverse programme. Anna Bolena by Donizetti was one of the major events here. In 1861, the theatre caught fire. It was rebuilt one year later to become the true rival of the old Santa Gran Teatre. At the end of the 19th century, the Liceu became the venue where people came to see and be seen; which is why the shows were performed with the house lights left on.

The work of national composers was rarely performed. However, among them were several highly esteemed composers, including GURIDI, ARRIETA and BRETON. The great French operas did not take hold quite as quickly as the Italian repertoire. It was in 1851 that Robert le diable was performed. Enthusiasm for MEYERBEER reached its peak with the performance of the play Les Huguenots in 1856; he is one of the most frequently performed composers in the history of the Liceu. This fascination of the public for the French repertoire grew with the performances of GOUNOD’s Faust in 1864 which was considered, with its 26 consecutive performances, as the last word in opera. At the end of the 19th century, the Liceu was one of the leading opera houses in Europe. Verdi was performed there, as were the great French operas, and national composers such as Felip PEDRELL and Wagner. Die Walküre caused a sensation and the house lights of the Liceu were put out for the first time.

The performance of Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov on 20 November 1915 marked the beginning of a period of splendour for Russian opera at the Liceu. When the second republic was proclaimed in 1931, political instability led to a serious financial crisis which badly affected the Liceu. During the civil war, the Liceu was nationalised and took the name “Gran Teatre del Liceu”. Its seasons were later suspended.

The activities of the Liceu began again in 1939 under the aegis of the Spanish and German authorities, subject to the propaganda of the Third Reich. Wagner was the most frequently performed composer during this period. In 1955, for the first time in its history, the Festival of Bayreuth was held at the Gran Teatre del Liceu. Germany felt the need to make up for its recent past. Barcelona was an obvious choice, given its longstanding Wagnerian tradition and the authoritarian regime that kept away any hostile element.

On 31 January 1994, the Liceu was once again destroyed by fire and it was rebuilt on the same site. The new building opened in 1999 offering great artistic and technological quality whilst respecting the former décor which had been reproduced. Its stage allows two or three performances at the same time with maximum visibility and an improved acoustic quality.

Gran Teatre del Liceu

The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.

Synopsis

Otello

OTELLO, A TOUCHING TALE OF LOVE AND TRAGEDY

Composed by renowned Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi, this is a four-act opera that has always been well-received by audiences. Verdi had retired after the roaring success of his work Aida, and came out of retirement to compose this opera. It was first performed in 1887 at La Scala in Milan.

 

Based on Shakespeare's play Othello, it is a tragic story of love that meets an unfortunate and untimely end at the hands of betrayal and manipulation. It highlights effects of jealousy- both personal and political- on the lives of the characters. String, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments are used to portray different emotions. The love duets towards the beginning of the opera have been known to be particularly touching.

HISTORY

The story is set in Cyprus in the late 15th Century and revolves around the relationship between the General Otello and his wife Desdemona. The scheming Iago is the villain in the story and it is due to his machinations that the tragedy is brought about. The tale deals with the important issues of politics, love and treachery- all relevant topics even today.

Act 1

It starts with a storm in the sea as the Cypriots anxiously await the return of their general from battle. The storm and the tension are beautifully portrayed with percussion and brass instruments. The ship lands safely and Otello conveys the news of their victory. This establishes his position of authority. Iago's jealous hatred for him is revealed. The General's loving relationship with Desdemona is highlighted with melodious love duets.

In Act 2

Iago carries out his scheme of ruining the General. Iago plants the seed of doubt in the General's mind by implying that Desdemona is unfaithful to him. Previously dishonoured Captain, Cassio is cleverly framed as Desdemona's lover. Desdemona petitions for Cassio to be reinstated to his title and this is portrayed as a sign of her devotion to Cassio. The General is consumed with fury when Iago tells him that he had seen Desdemona's handkerchief in Cassio's apartment.

Act 3

It sees heightened action as Iago presents the stolen handkerchief as false proof. Blinded by jealousy, the General takes Iago's statements at their face value. He confronts Desdemona and is convinced of her guilt though she denies it. Anger and rage takes precedence over love.

Act 4

Desdemona's beautiful prayer shows acceptance of her fate and heralds the tragic culmination of events. The General, in his anger, takes a step that he will soon regret. Iago's treachery is eventually revealed. A horrified Othello has a crushing moment of realisation, but it is already too late for the lovers. Melancholy notes underline the tragedy of the tale and brings the opera to a close.

Verdi's version of this famous Shakespearean play has been critically acclaimed and is definitely worth watching.

MAIN ROLES

Otello, The General: Tenor
Desdemona, his wife: Soprano
Iago, his subordinate: Baritone
Cassio, dishonoured Captain: Tenor
Emilia, Iago's wife and Desdemona's maid: Mezzo Soprano

Gran Teatre del Liceu © A. Bofill

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