Opera in four acts - 1887
Composer Giuseppe Verdi · Libretto by Arrigo Boito based on the play of the same title „Othello“ by William Shakespeare
In Italian with German and English surtitles
Dates & Tickets
Cast for all dates
- Daniele Rustioni (05-27-2022, 05-30-2022, 06-02-2022), Antonino Fogliani (07-02-2022, 07-05-2022)
- Amélie Niermeyer
- Set Design
- Christian Schmidt
- Costume Design
- Annelies Vanlaere
- Olaf Winter
- Philipp Batereau
- Assistant Choreographer
- Thomas Wilhelm
- Stellario Fagone
- Malte Krasting
- Rainer Karlitschek
- Arsen Soghomonyan (05-27-2022, 05-30-2022, 06-02-2022), Gregory Kunde (07-02-2022, 07-05-2022)
- Luca Salsi (05-27-2022, 05-30-2022, 06-02-2022), Gerald Finley (07-02-2022, 07-05-2022)
- Oleksiy Palchykov
- Galeano Salas
- Bálint Szabó
- Daniel Noyola
- Ein Herold
- Andrew Hamilton
- Anja Harteros
- Victoria Karkacheva (05-27-2022, 05-30-2022, 06-02-2022), Nadezhda Karyazina (07-02-2022, 07-05-2022)
- Bayerisches Staatsorchester
- Chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper
OTELLO: Anja Harteros singt „Ave Maria“
OTELLO: Jonas Kaufmann singt „Dio! Mi potevi scagliar“
Like an outcry the elemental force of the orchestra shatters the silence, the storm on the coast of Cyprus rages incessantly. The wind whips, lightening cuts through the roaring skies. Giuseppe Verdi anticipated the sedition in the hearts of his characters in the revolting nature. His penultimate opera, with which he once again produced musical drama after a longer creative break, takes the listener by the throat and holds them so until the inevitable end. As Othello, the great general and commander becomes entangled in Iago's web of machinations; as the calamitous seed of jealousy germinates and Othello's love for his wife Desdemona begins to decay, even on their wedding day; as Desdemona, "nevertheless insists, although she senses or feels that this harm comes her way, and that Othello in his jealousy is really capable of killing her" (Amélie Niermeyer) – with his Otello Verdi created an operatic drama, the likes of which had never before been so tight, so direct, so intensive and so beautiful, and still today unmatched.
With tension, fear and anticipation, Desdemona awaits the arrival of her husband Otello who, as supreme commander of the Venetian fleet, had to fight a great sea battle. But not everyone is concerned about him. Roderigo and Jago would rather his ship were wrecked than have a safe landing. Otello is victorious, though, but marked from battle. Jago, overlooked for promotion as a soldier of Otello in favour of Cassio, goads Roderigo, a once-rejected suitor of Desdemona, on to revenge. Above all, he should keep an eye on his alleged rival Cassio. With the advice that tonight shall be the wedding night of Otello and Desdemona, and everyone shall toast her beauty, Jago incites Cassio to drink. Quickly losing control of his senses, Cassio reacts violently to Roderigo’s provocation and injures Montano, the former governor. Otello alone is able to stop the fight. He demotes Cassio and orders, furiously, as Desdemona is shocked by the commotion, everyone to return to their homes. For the first time since their wedding, Otello and Desdemona are alone again. With the memory of the beginning of their shared love, the desire and yearning for togetherness return. Desdemona believes that love can heal all of Otello’s war wounds. They kiss.
Jago recommends Cassio to turn to Desdemona in order to regain his position with Otello. Cassio decides to take his advice. With the newly-found knowledge of how easily people fall for his schemes, Jago devises a devilish confession: his existence as the embodiment of evil. Otello believes he has seen Cassio with Desdemona and, with suggestive questions, Jago sows seeds of doubt within Otello about his former friend, resulting in the poisoned advice to beware of jealousy. In a semi-improvised ceremony, Desdemona is celebrated like a saint. But as she pleads with her husband to show Cassio mercy, Otello immediately senses treachery. He gruffly fends off Desdemona and throws her handkerchief to the floor. Jago’s wife Emilia picks it up but Jago takes possession of it with the intention of strengthening his scheme. Otello demands proof from Jago of Desdemona’s infidelity. He tells of how Cassio spoke of Desdemona in his sleep and that he even saw her handkerchief in his possession. Otello believes his suspicions to be confirmed, while Jago entices him to swear an oath to carry out revenge.
Once again, Desdemona pleads with her husband on Cassio’s behalf. The fact that false suspicions have blinded him does not enter her imagination. Otello demands to see the handkerchief that Jago has brought into his possession. Angry that Desdemona has lost it and believing that she has given it to a lover, he cynically curses her as a whore and sends her away. His will to live has gone. For the benefit of the eavesdropping Otello, Jago stages a conversation with Cassio, in which the latter apparently reveals his affair with Desdemona and shows the handkerchief which has been placed by Jago in his apartment. Furious with jealousy, Otello is now convinced of Desdemona’s guilt. Lodovico, the Venetian ambassador, brings news of Otello’s recall to Venice, and Cassio is named as his successor. Otello humiliates Desdemona. It is now clear to her that her relationship with him is irreparably broken. Jago goads Roderigo to murder Cassio, and Otello to fatal revenge on Desdemona. Otello sends everyone away and breaks down. Jago triumphs.
Desdemona, who had believed that she could be happy with Otello despite all their difficulties, is now filled with dark misgivings. She sings the Willow Song that one of her mother’s handmaids once sung, the one who was abandoned by her lover and subsequently left her job. She prays an Ave Maria. Otello enters the room. He kisses his wife. Desdemona awakes, and he pronounces her death. She protests her innocence, but Otello declines to hear her arguments. He strangles her. Emilia bursts in and says that Cassio has killed Roderigo. Otello still believes he is right. Only when Jago and Lodovico enter can Emilia uncover her husband’s scheme. Otello realises his mistake and stabs himself. Dying, he kisses his murdered wife one last time.
© Bayerische Staatsoper
Daniele Rustioni studierte in Mailand Orgel, Komposition und Klavier sowie Dirigieren bei Gilberto Serembe. Anschließend setzte er sein Studium in Siena und an der Royal Academy of Music in London fort. Von 2008 bis 2009 war er Jette Parker Young Artist am Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London und assistierte dem dortigen Musikdirektor Antonio Pappano. Sein Debüt absolvierte er 2007 mit dem Orchester des Teatro Regio di Torino, weitere wichtige Debüts folgten 2011 mit Aida am Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London und 2012 mit La bohème am Teatro alla Scala in Mailand. Dort dirigierte er anschließend auch Un ballo in maschera und Il trovatore. Gastengagements führten ihn u. a. ans Teatro La Fenice in Venedig, zum Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, zum Rossini Opera Festival, an die Welsh National Opera, an die Staatsoper im Schiller Theater in Berlin, an die Opéra national de Paris und ans Staatstheater Stuttgart. Von 2012 bis 2014 war er musikalischer Direktor des Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari. Zur Zeit ist er Chefdirigent des Orchestra della Toscana. (Stand: 2017)