Oh, the power of love, power that can turn a person into an animal
Storms are raging on the coast of Cyprus and the people have gathered in the port to watch in horror as a ship returning from a military campaign against the Turks attempts to make landfall. To everyone´s relief, the ship anchors safely and the crowd welcomes the victorious Otello. A stunning choral performance then ensues, dramatically commencing one of Verdi’s most famous operas, before the story moves on to the dangerous interplay of intrigues and jealousy that arise around Otello and his wife Desdemona thanks to the machinations of the treacherous Iago. Shakespeare´s famous tragedy has been staged for more than four hundred years, and it still hasn’t lost any of its relevance. Giuseppe Verdi was a great admirer of Shakespeare´s work, and he considered the possibility of setting one of his plays to music many times. Aside from his version of Macbeth, at the end of Verdi´s life he finally chose Otello. This time, he was lucky not only to have found an excellent topic, but also a great librettist, as his collaborator was none other than the Italian poet and composer Arrigo Boito, who helped him flesh out his ideas into an ideal form. Verdi´s penultimate opera is truly a masterpiece, with three-dimensionally depicted characters and grand choral scenes that alternate with intimate lyrical moments. The role of Otello tests the skills of the best of heroic tenors, as Verdi imbued it with every shade of the human soul – at first portrayed as a warrior, and then as a tender and loving man, Otello finally transforms into a wounded animal consumed by jealousy. This unique work by Verdi is returning to the Brno stage after more than thirty years away.
Premiere: 17th June 2022 at the Janáček Theatre