An orchestral and vocal tempest comes down in this later work by Verdi… an opera of extremes… a head-on clash of Otello’s uncontrolled aggressiveness, Iago’s calculated coldness, and Desdemona’s pure lyricism. Featuring Montreal audience favourite Hiromi Omura as Desdemona.

Preview

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  • 18h00Ouverture des portes
  • 18h30Préopéra
  • 19h30Début de l'opéra
  • 21h25Entracte
  • 21h45Deuxième partie
  • 22h30Fin
Language: 
Italien (No available subtitle)
Duration: 
2:30 hrs
Intermission: 
1

Multimedia

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Otello - Podcast

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Otello - Musical Excerpts

Verdi – Otello / Del Monaco, Tebaldi, Karajan / London 411 618-2

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Otello - Video

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Otello -The story as told by Michel Beaulac

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Otello seen by Antoine Bélanger

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Otello - Verdi's masterpiece

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Otello - New production

Composer

Giuseppe Verdi  >

Verdi was born into a family of modest means—although perhaps not as modest as he liked to claim. He began his musical education with the village organist, went on to study with the maestro di musica in Busseto, and from there completed his studies in Milan—then considered the capital of Italian culture—with Lavigna, répétiteur at La Scala. Lavigna taught him counterpoint and composition, and encouraged him to attend opera performances.

Synopsis

  • Act I - The harbour of Cyprus

    A storm is raging and a ship, with Otello on board, attempts to make port.  Otello finally reaches the harbour, announces the defeat of the Turkish fleet, and, with acclaim from the crowd, enters the castle.  A brief conversation ensues between Iago and Roderigo.  Iago, who secretly hates Otello for having promoted Cassio to second in command instead of him, promises to help Roderigo gain the love of Otello’s wife, Desdemona.  Iago insinuates that Cassio loves Desdomona and persuades Roderigo to pick a fight with Cassio after they succeed in getting him drunk.  In the scuffle, Montano, the previous governor, is wounded.  Otello, drawn by the commotion, restores order and demotes Cassio.  Iago has won his first point.  Desdemona and Otello are left alone to sing of their love.

  • Act II - A room in the castle

    Iago suggests that Cassio present his case to Desdemona.  Left alone, Iago displays his cynical view of life in a virtual explosion of evil.
    As Otello approaches, Iago, watching Cassio talking to Desdemona, feigns an expression of disgust.  Responding to Otello’s questions, Iago cunningly raises the question of Cassio’s integrity.  Desdemona reappears, as Otello broods on Iago’s insinuations.  Desdemona intervenes on Cassio’s behalf but her efforts do not sit well with Otello.  She offers to wipe her husband’s heated brow with her handkerchief, but Otello throws the handkerchief to the ground, where Iago’s wife, Emilia, picks it up.  Emilia then yields the handkerchief to Iago, who savours his future revenge.  Otello curses Iago for disturbing his happiness.  To defend himself, Iago concocts a story of Cassio supposedly talking in his sleep of his love for Desdemona.  Iago even claims he has seen Desdemona’s handkerchief in Cassio’s hands.  Otello swears to have vengeance on Desdemona, while Iago proclaims the same oath directed at Otello.

  • Act III - The great hall of the castle

    Iago promises to supply Otello with tangible proof of Desdemona’s betrayal.  Desdemona enters, continuing to plead Cassio’s position, while Otello asks for the handkerchief.  Otello disbelieves her vows of innocence, forcing her to leave him.  Otello is interrupted by Iago, urging him to hide.  Iago leads Cassio into a conversation, cunningly deceiving Otello to believe that they are talking of Desdemona.  Then, Iago has Cassio produce the famous handkerchief, finally proving Desdemona’s infidelity.  When Cassio leaves, Iago suggests that Otello kill Desdemona while he will take care of Cassio.  Lodovico, the Venetian ambassador, hands Otello a proclamation calling him back to Venice and appointing Cassio as governor.  Hearing Desdemona speak of Cassio to Lodovico and Iago, Otello is sent into a fury and taunts her about her unfaithfulness.  Sending everyone out, Otello falls in a faint; Iago gloats over the fallen Moor.

  • Act IV - Desdemona’s bedroom

    Desdemona intones a sublime Ave Maria as she falls off to sleep.  Otello enters furtively, kisses her three times, then strangles her.  Emilia announces that Cassio has killed Roderigo.  Hearing Desdemona’s groans, Emilia rushes to her just in time to hear her final words.  Drawn by Emilia’s cries, Lodovico, Cassio, and Iago rush in.  Emilia unveils Iago’s horrible manipulation.  Suddenly, everything becomes clear to Otello… he pulls out a hidden dagger and stabs himself, falling beside his beloved Desdemona.

In the media

Une soirée à ne pas manquer, cette première de la nouvelle production de l’Opéra de Montréal! Distribution impressionnante, direction d’orchestre du même niveau. Des voix fortes. L’Américaine Lise Lindstrom est incandescente dans le rôle-titre.

- Arthur Kaptainis

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