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Starting Point

What leads Otello to believe himself betrayed by his wife Desdemona who has never stopped loving him? William Shakespeare masterfully portrayed the devastating power of insecurity. He gave the Moor racial features which were unusual for his surroundings and these became a powerful Achilles heel. However, the Otello as conceived by stage director David Alden -and in Arrigo Boito’s libretto for Verdi–, situates the conflict less in the physical features of the Venetian Moor and more in the intricate psychological labyrinths within which he becomes trapped. Otello is overwhelmed by jealousy. He cannot avoid the downfall of his own ideals, and he is smothered by an obsession to find proof of his wife’s infidelity which, in actual fact, only exists in his mind. The bloodthirsty general devours the man of peace, and thus destroys both himself and everything around him. In his ensign Iago, we have one of the most venomous villains ever conceived. With opportunistic authority, he encourages the wild imagination of his commander.  By losing all sense of dignity, self-control and judgement, Otello confronts us with one of the most unspeakable fears of mankind:  to not feel worthy of that which one most loves.



Dramma lirico in four acts

Music by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)

Libretto by Arrigo Boito, after the play Othello, or The Moor of Venice (1603) by William Shakespeare
Premiered at the Teatro alla Scala of Milan, 5 February 1887
Premiered at the Teatro Real, 9 October 1890

New production by the Teatro Real, in coproduction with the English National Opera and the Royal Swedish Opera

Principal Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real
(Coro Intermezzo / Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid)

Pequeños Cantores de la Comunidad de Madrid


Cyprus, late 19th century. During a violent storm, the people of Cyprus await the return of their governor and general of the Venetian fleet, the Moor Otello. He has been fighting the Muslim Turks and guides his victorious navy to safe harbour...

Approximate running time

3 hours

Acts I and II: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Intermission: 25 minutes
Acts III and IV 1 hour and 15 minutres

Production Team & Cast

  • Musical director: Renato Palumbo
  • Stage director: David Alden
  • Set and costume designer: Jon Morrell
  • Lighting designer: Adam Silverman
  • Choreographer: Maxime Braham
  • Chorus Master: Andrés Máspero
  • Children's Chorus Master: Ana González
· - ·
  • Otello: Gregory Kunde (Sep. 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30 · Oct. 3)
    Alfred Kim (Sep. 16, 19, 22, 25, 29 · Oct. 2)
  • Iago: George Petean (Sep. 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30 · Oct. 3)
    Àngel Òdena (Sep. 16, 19, 22, 25, 29 · Oct. 2)
  • Cassio: Alexey Dolgov (Sep. 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30 · Oct. 3)
    Xavier Moreno (Sep. 16, 19, 22, 25, 29 · Oct. 2)
  • Roderigo: Vicenç Esteve
  • Ludovico: Fernando Radó
  • Desdemona: Ermonela Jaho (Sep. 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30 · Oct. 3)
    Lianna Haroutounian (Sep. 16, 19, 22, 25, 29 · Oct. 2)
  • Montano and A herald: Isaac Galán
  • Emilia: Gemma Coma-Alabert

Performance Dates

  • 15 SEP (T) 20:00h
  • 16 SEP (F) 20:00h
  • 18 SEP (S) 20:00h
  • 19 SEP (M) 20:00h
  • 21 SEP (W) 20:00h
  • 22 SEP (T) 20:00h
  • 24 SEP (S) 20:00h
  • 25 SEP (S) 20:00h
  • 27 SEP (T) 20:00h
  • 29 SEP (T) 20:00h
  • 30 SEP (F) 20:00h
  • 2 OCT (S) 18:00h
  • 3 OCT (M) 20:00h
  • Place: Main Auditorium


You can find more photos here.

Programme of show

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Actividades paralelas

Teatro Real
  • ExposiciónEl nacimiento del Otello de Verdi: una mirada al Archivio Storico Ricordi. 15 de septiembre al 3 de octubre de 2016. Presentación y acceso libre: 13 de septiembre, 20h.
  • Ópera en la calleRetransmisión en directo de una de las funciones de Otello a museos, instituciones culturales y ayuntamientos a nivel nacional. 24 de septiembre de 2016, 20:00 horas
  • Ópera en cine. Proyección de La traviata (2015). Domingo 18 de septiembre, 12.00h. Sala principal.
  • Curso monográfico: Sobre Otello de Verdi, impartido por Gabriel Menéndez Torrellas. 13, 20 y 22 de septiembre.
  • Los domingos de cámaraPrograma dedicado a Otello. ​Solistas de la Orquesta Titular del Teatro Real. Domingo, 25 de septiembre de 2016, 12.00 horas. Sala principal
  • EnfoquesEncuentro con Renato Palumbo (director musical), David Alden (director de escena) y Joan Matabosch (director artístico del Teatro Real). Miércoles 7 de septiembre de 2016, 20.15 horas. Sala Gayarre
  • En torno a OtelloJosé Luis Téllez desgrana las claves de la ópera todos los días de función, 45 minutos antes de la misma. Aforo limitado
British Council
Coloquio. Acto de clausura de las celebraciones del cuarto centenario de William Shakespeare.
Noviembre-diciembre de 2016. Acceso gratuito. Aforo limitado.

Museo Nacional del Romanticismo
ConferenciaShakespeare convertido en ópera romántica: el Otello de Verdi, por Víctor Sánchez Sánchez
Jueves, 22 de septiembre de 2016. 19.00h. Auditorio.
Acceso gratuito. Aforo limitado.