WITH THE SUPPORT OF TAX SHELTER OF THE BELGIAN FEDERAL GOVERNEMENT AND CASA KAFKA PICTURES
Libretto by Marquis Francesco Maria Berio di Salsa based on the tragedy of the same name by William Shakespeare.
“This third act is genuinely divine and what is most extraordinary is that its beauty is not at all evocative of Rossini. Its first-rate declamations, constantly impassioned recitatives and very colourful mysterious accompaniments reach a supreme level of perfection”. — LETTER FROM GIACOMO MEYERBEER IN 1818
Rossini is especially known for his opera buffa which still delight spectators worldwide and allow bel canto professionals to flourish vocally. Otello is entirely different and explores, with rare pertinence, the Shakespearian depth of its famous characters. The Swan of Pesaro displayed a visionary sense of Dramma per musica, much earlier than Verdi’s masterpiece. The heroine, Isabella Colbran, the composer’s future wife, contributed greatly to the work’s success, but the unrelenting fatal trajectory was not to the liking of the drama’s first spectators, who were not yet used to tragic perorations. Many were shocked by the omnipresence of death. The composer was even obliged, in 1820 in Rome, to change the outcome into an absurd lieto fine in which the protagonists reconcile in a very improbable love scene, which Shakespeare himself would surely have disapproved!