Verdi’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic play in a prize-winning production.
With the revival of this Reumert-prize winning production of Verdi’s Otello, the Royal Danish Opera concludes its revival of the full cycle of Verdi’s three Shakespeare operas, which were produced in 2013 to celebrate the 200th and 450th anniversary of the birth of Verdi and Shakespeare respectively.
Verdi was a great admirer of Shakespeare’s plays and put a lot of effort into ensuring that his Shakespeare-operas were as true to the original plays as possible. Apart from the jealousy drama of Otello, Verdi also composed operas based on the comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor, which became Falstaff, and the tragedy Macbeth.
In Verdi’s Otello, Shakespeare’s drama is cut to the bone, making the main characters and the intrigue created by the jealous and malicious Jago stand out – a dramatic focus, which is cut even clearer when set to Verdi’s mesmerizing music.
Verdi saw Jago as “the Devil, who sets it all in motion”. Jago’s ability to ensnare Otello and the beautiful Desdemona in a web of destructive lies, lies at the heart of the opera, creating a musical drama, which can be experienced again and again.
Otello is performed in Italian with Danish surtitles.