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The Royal Opera House

Opera Guide: Otello

Otello, Verdi's penultimate opera, was composed more than a dozen years after Aida, which he had intended to be his last work for the stage. He was persuaded by his publisher Giulio Rocordi to work with the librettist Arrigo Boito on an adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello, and the resulting work is one of the supreme examples of Italian opera. Greeted with enormous enthusiasm at its premiere at La scala in 1887, Otello immediately went on to huge success in all the major opera houses of the world.

In this guide, Avril Bardoni describes the background to the creation of the opera, making generous use of the extended correspondence between Verdi and Boito during the period of its composition. Benedict Sarnaker provides a detailed musical commentary and Hugh Shirley gives a historical survey of important productions and performers of the principal roles.

The guide contains the full Italian libretto with English translation by Avril Bardoni. There are twenty-eight illustrations, a musical thematic guide, a discography, a bibliography, DVD and website guides. Appendices give the additional text provided for the Paris premiere in 1894 and an extract from the Otello production manual compiled by Ricordi and based on the original 1887 La Scala production.

Overture Opera Guide
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Opera: Otello
Binding: Paperback
Pages:  245 
Size: 13x19.5x 2 cms