Verdi wasn't the only Italian composer inspired by Shakespeare's play Othello. More than 70 years earlier, Rossini had set this tragic tale of jealousy and revenge to music. Though the latter opera hews more closely to the original material, Rossini's version nevertheless captures its roiling emotions and devastating ending.
Rossini's iteration of the story inserts a secondary plot in which Desdemona's father promises his daughter's hand in marriage to Rodrigo, the son of the Venetian doge. Desdemona resists and professes her love for Otello. However, the scheming Iago preys on Otello's insecurities, which eventually lead to Desdemona's murder and the protagonist's downfall.
Lisa Simeone hosts this production, starring tenor Gregory Kunde in the title role and soprano Jessica Pratt as Desdemona. World of Opera airs Thursdays at 4 pm, Saturdays at 5 pm and Sundays at 1 pm on the Operavore stream.
Otello: Gregory Kunde (tenor)
Desdemona: Jessica Pratt (soprano)
Rodrigo: Dmitry Korchak (tenor)
Elmiro: Mirco Palazzi (bass)
Iago: Yijie Shi (tenor)
Emila: Lidia Vinyes-Curtis (mezzo-soprano)
Grand Liceu Theater Orchestra and Chorus
Christopher Franklin, conductor