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Otello - Verdi

Alexey Markov (c) DR

Verdi Otello

The 19 October 2024
Semperoper - Dresden
Program

Verdi : Otello

Cast
  • Conductor
    Timur Zangiev
  • Director
    Vincent Boussard
  • Performers
    Otello: Najmiddin Mavlyanov
    Desdemona: Polina Pasztircsák
    Iago: Alexey Markov
    Cassio: Granit Musliu
    Lodovico: Alexandros Stavrakakis
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Semperoper - Dresden LocationTheaterplatz 2 - 01067 Dresden Allemagne

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Dresden, which became known as the « Florence of the Elbe, » became a primordially important intellectual centre and its orchestra, which developed a new virtuostic instrumental style, spread its influence throughout Europe. Under the influence of Weber, Dresden actively participated in the renaissance of German opera.

For instance, the Opera House built by Gottfried Semper in 1841 welcomed Wagner's first successes in his attempt to renovate German lyrical art; RIENZI, THE FLYING DUTCHMAN, and TANNHÄUSER. But Wagner was also a political agitator and he was forced to leave the city after the 1848 revolution.

In 1858, the orchestra organized its first regular season of symphonic concerts for the public. Following a fire in 1869, Semper erected a second concert hall which was subsequently destroyed, along with the rest of the splendid baroque city, during the devastating bombings of 1945. In 1985, the reopening of one of Europe’s most beautiful opera houses

Semperoper

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

Semperoper Dresden © Matthias Creutziger

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