cover of book

Otello, ossia Il Moro di Venezia: Dramma per musica in Three Acts by Francesco Berio di Salsa
by Gioachino Rossini
edited by Michael Collins
University of Chicago Press, 1995
Cloth: 978-0-226-72850-6

Rossini's Otello, first performed in 1816, remained an immensely popular opera throughout the nineteenth century and was only eclipsed by Verdi's more Shakespearean version. The critical edition by Michael Collins allows us to rediscover Rossini's Otello as one of the composer's early masterpieces in the tragic genre.

The first of eight serious operas newly-written for the Teatro San Carlo of Naples, Otello reveals Rossini as a composer deeply concerned with both character development and large-scale musical forms. Desdemona's "Willow Song" is a fine example: here not only is variation technique used for dramatic ends, but the song itself forms part of a larger scheme that encompasses the entire third act as a single, unified piece.
Far more than a mere forerunner to Verdi, Rossini's Otello deserves to be known for its own innovative qualities.

See other books on: Classical | Dramma per musica | Genres & Styles | Music | Rossini, Gioachino
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