Grand Opera – Otello
Date: 13 to 16 October 2016 (4 performances)
Venue: Grand Theatre of Hong Kong Cultural Centre
An Opera in Four Acts
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto: Arrigo Boito, after the play by Shakespeare
Performed in Italian with Chinese and English Surtitles
A Production of Teatro dell’Opera di Roma
Producer: Warren Mok
Conductor: Gianluca Martinenghi
Director: Maurizio di Mattia
Set Designer: Andrea Miglio
Costume Designer: Anna Biagiotti
Lighting Designer: Maurizio di Mattia
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Opera Hong Kong Children Chorus
Regarded as one of the most masterful translations of the play to an operatic setting, Guiseppe Verdi’s opera is also one of the most dramatic musically. Unlike his previous works, Otello is written using rich harmonies and texture, creating tension and atmosphere that vividly portray the characters, especially Otello and Iago. Verdi’s music illuminates the original, matching Shakespeare in its dramatic impact as well as its emotional and psychological depth. Arrigo Boito’s libretto, acclaimed by music critic and author Henry W. Simon as ‘the finest of Italian opera librettos’, is faithful to Shakespeare’s original text. This totally new production, enhanced by costumes and props produced by Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, will dazzle the audience with its brilliant music and fierce drama.
Set in the 15th century, the Moorish-Venetian army general Otello returns to Cyprus after defeating the Turks. His subordinate Iago resents him because he appointed his rival Cassio rather than himself to the position of navy captain. Out of anger and jealousy, Iago carries out an evil plot against Otello that tragically leads to an irreversible scene – the Moor kills his beloved wife Desdemona after wrongly believing Iago that she had betrayed him. Heartbroken, Otello finds out that Desdemona is innocent and kills himself.
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