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Maria Agresta

Verdi Otello

From 07 December TO 14 December 2021
Teatro di San Carlo - Napoli
Program

Verdi : Otello

Cast
  • Conductor
    Michele Mariotti
  • Director
    Mario Martone
  • Performers
    Otello: Yusif Eyvazov
    Desdemona: Maria Agresta
    Iago: Igor Golovatenko
    Cassio: Alessandro Liberatore
    Lodovico: Emanuele Cordaro
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Teatro di San Carlo - Napoli Location Via San Carlo, 98F - 80132 Napoli Italie

  • Venue's Capacity: 1386

The "San Carlo" is the world's oldest opera house still in activity. Right from the start, in 1737, people came from far and wide to admire the theatre's excellent 42-musician orchestra, and to applaud the castratos trained at the Naples Conservatory (like the famous Farinelli), as well as divas known by their nicknames, "la Parruchierrina," or "la Bastarella," for example. And the house in itself, with its sumptuous architecture and no less than six stories of boxes, was no minor attraction: Stendhal was enchanted by the hall's charm, and Paul Klee was fascinated by what he described as this "superb, heavy, and obscure theatre."

In 1816, fire burned down the theatre, and Ferdinand de Bourbon reconstructed an identical building with amazing speed, for Naples, robbed of its opera house, was plunged in mourning, and threatened to not support its sovereign. Let's not forget that at that time, the reign of Domenico Barbaja (nicknamed "The Prince of Impresarios" by Alexander Dumas) had already begun brilliantly. In 1815. this Milanese ex-cafe waiter, who is often credited with the invention of whipped-cream, had had the brilliant idea of hiring Gioacchino Rossini in person as the theatre's artistic director. This exceptional LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR for the San Carlo), while launching, in 1826, a young composer called Vincenzo Bellini. The Neapolitan stage became the place where several singers' careers were made or broken; the famous French tenor Adolphe Nourrit, for example, who considered that the applause had not been sufficient, commited suicide after a performance at the San Carlo. The composer Saverio Mercadante then won the favours of the San Carlo's notorious audience, to such an extent that Verdi at first felt ill at ease in the theatre. Only to better triumph in 1872, when he organized an entire season, and had an orchestra pit added.

During the twentieth century, the stars of the Scala have sometimes overshadowed those of the San Carlo, an historic rivalry that has always existed, in a country where music lovers must choose sides. But the Neapolitan stage defends itself by ever enriching, even to this day, the world's largest repertoire of works ever premiered in an opera house, while legendary singers, such as Beniamino Gigli (who performed in the theatre from 1915 to 1953), have always remained exceptionally faithful to the San Carlo audience, which also happens to be one of the warmest anyone could imagine.

Teatro di San Carlo

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

Teatro di San Carlo

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