13 performances of Otello until October 3rd: new production of Teatro Real, co-production with The English National Opera and The Royal Swedish Opera, conducted by Renato Palumbo and directed by David Alden.


Otello is performed by two casts, starring Gregory Kunde and Alfred Kim in the title role, Ermonela Jaho and Lianna Haroutounian as Desdemona.


The exhibition ‘The birth of Verdi’s Otello: a look into the Archivio Storico Ricordi’, sponsored by Bertelsmann, from September 15th through October 3rd during the performances.


On Sunday, September 24 the performance will be live broadcast, free and for everyone in the world through the online platform of Teatro Real: Palco Digital. You can also follow the live transmission onRTVE.es (co-producer of the audiovisual production), The Opera Platform (Opera Europa), Shakespeare Lives(British Council) and ARTE Concert (canal ARTE). 


On the same day the Opera will be retransmitted, live, on free outdoor screens installed in emblematic venues of Granada, Murcia, Sevilla, Zaragoza, Valladolid y Chinchón, and important museums, cultural institutions and auditoriums throughout all of Spain.


In Latin American the opera will be offered next September 30 in emblematic venues in Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela.


Radio Clásica, of RNE, will record the performance of September 30th for alater broadcasting.


A monographic course on Otello, conferences, colloquiums, films and concerts complete the cultural and artistic proposals of Teatro Real in collaboration with other institutions about the masterpiece of Verdi.



Tomorrow, September 15, Teatro Real opens the 2016/2017 Season with a new production of Otello by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), a co-production with English National Opera, were it premiered with amazing reception in September 2014 , and The Royal Swedish Opera that presented the opera in March 2015.


As can be seen in the exhibition The birth of Verdi’s ‘Otello’: a look at Archivio Storico Ricordi”, this masterpiece was born thanks to the skill and perseverance of the great publisher Giulio Ricordi (1840-1912), which over several years persuade a retired Verdi, to start again his operatic creativeness, which he abandoned after the premiere of Aida in El Cairo in 1871.


At the time, Giuseppe Verdi was a mature, renowned composer with a long-standing and successful career; he had a great financial situation and was very popular and beloved for his active involvement in the unstable Italian life. Verdi decided to stop creating music, setting a free path to the new generation of composers that tried to renew the ideals of Italian opera, when the powerful work of Wagner influenced the musical life of his country.


But the stimulating strength of William Shakespeare (1564-1616) plays awakened Verdi from his slumber and, with the work of the outstanding librettos of composer and poet Arrigo Boito (1842-1918), he composed, septuagenarian, his last two and greatest operas, Otello and Falstaff. With the first, he began the deepest renewal of the language, with a profound synthesis and quintessence of Italian opera, which mark the end of a cycle of nearly two centuries; with the second, he took the comic opera to the top of refinement and delicacy, signing off with a delicious and nostalgic praise to youth and love.


Driven by the accuracy of the libretto by Boito, which simplifies the Shakespearean plot digging into the complexity of the characters and their relationships, Verdi uses all his creative resources for serving the dramaturgy resources, creating a score without cracks, which arias, duets, recitatives and ariosos come together in a continuum in which the tension never drops, even in the most intimate moments of intimacy and lyricism.


A great orchestration outlines the characters and illuminates the evolution of drama, with an unparalleled density and consistency in which the singing flows like a declamation, which interweaves fine melodies, almost epigrammatic, with a huge dramatic strength and others with expressive atmosphere.


With this staging, so powerful dramaturgically, American director David Alden had chosen to emphasize the internal conflict of Otello, whose warlike character hides an enormous insecurity which makes it vulnerable to the evil conspiracy of Iago. A ruined and dark Mediterranean city created by the designer Jon Morrell accentuates the terrifying atmosphere of the Shakespearean drama that Verdi magnified and universalized.


Renato Palumbo, in Teatro Real has conducted Les Huguenots, Tosca and La traviata, and now he returns with another Verdi’s title, with the Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho, who triumphed with his role in La traviata in 2014. In the title role the American tenor Gregory Kunde, one of the most celebrated interpreters of the demanding role of Otello, he also opened last season with his acclaimed Roberto Devereux, and will return in Norma next October and November. For the role of evil and sadist Iago, the baritone George Petean, who recently sang in the last season with the opera I Puritani.


This protagonist trio will alternate with the Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian, tenor Alfred Kim and baritoneÁngel Ódena, who will sing his 13th title role in Teatro Real (Das Rheingold, Conquering di Granata, La Dolores, I Pagliacci, Luisa Fernanda, Madama Butterfly, Merlin , Margarita la tornera,  Simon Boccanegra, Cyrano de Bergerac, La traviata and Roberto Devereux) .


The choir Pequeños Cantores de la Comunidad de Madrid, directed by Ana González, and the Coro Titular del Teatro Real, under the direction of the chief conductor, Andrés Maspero will perform, once again, next to theOrquesta Titular del Teatro Real conducted by Renato Palumbo.






Among the proposals to approach opera for every citizen, in the program of activities of the Bicentenary of Teatro Real, the main priority is the broadcast of the performances with the use of new audiovisual technologies.


Following the successful broadcasting of I Puritani, on July 14, that reached 7.3 million people in different channels like webs sites, social network, museums, auditoriums and open spaces in Spain and Latin America, etc; Teatro Real offers again the possibility to enjoy Otello in a live or recorded broadcast, free of charge, worldwide, with the active participation of several cultural institutions and municipalities.


In this occasion, besides the live broadcast in museums, cultural centers, town halls and auditoriumsthroughout Spain, screens will be installed outside Madrid, in important venues of Granada, Murcia, Sevilla and Valladolid, bringing opera to the street in a joyful and relaxed atmosphere.


In Latin American the broadcast of September 24 will be offered on September 30 in emblematic venues in Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela.


Also, from Teatro Real a free, live, worldwide broadcast in Palco Digital and other national and international platforms for the streaming of Otello to an increasingly diversified public.


RTVE, co-producer of the audiovisual production, will offer the opera on its website RTVE.es. The Opera Platform, an online platform created by OPERA EUROPA, which began operating with the international broadcasting of La traviata from Teatro Real, in 2014, issued the first and last opera of this season: Otello and Madama Butterfly. Also ARTE Concert, ARTE channel, and Shakespeare Lives, of British Council, will join the broadcast of Otello.






In the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and the Bicentenary of Teatro Real, the new production of Otello, links the name of Verdi and Shakespeare will live broadcast for 140 countries in the audiovisual platforms Shakespeare Lives, on the websites of British Council centers worldwide and in theatres like the Shakespeare Theatre de Gdansk (Poland) o el National Theatre in Romania.


The audience can also enjoy during intermission, a selection of short films produced by renowned British directors inspired by Shakespeare’s classics with a contemporary look. A series of interviews with the artists of Otello will be offered and can be followed on social networks with the hashtag #ShakespeareLives, in order to offer the public a multifaceted look of this masterpiece from different areas of creation.


The unique collaboration between the British Council and Teatro Real will continue in the future with a series of projects covering the digital enterprise, the audiovisual and education sector.






Presentation to the public for the the exhibition ‘The birth of Verdi’s Otello: a look into the Archivio Storico Ricordi’

Colloquim with Pierluigi Ledda, General Director of  Archivio Storico Ricordi, and Luis Gago, musicologist and critic

September 13, at 8PM

Teatro Real. Sala Gayarre and Café de Palacio


Monographic course: About Verdi’s  ‘Otello’

By Gabriel Menéndez Torrellas

September 13, 20 & 22

Teatro Real. Sala Gayarre and orquestra room


Opera in cinema: La traviata, of Giuseppe Verdi

Conducted by Renato Palumbo and directed by David McVicar

September 18, 8M

Teatro Real. Auditorium


Conference: Shakespeare into romantic Opera: Verdi’s ‘Otello’ 

by Víctor Sánchez Sánchez

September 22 at 7PM

Museo del Romanticismo. Auditorium


Opera on the street: live broadcast of Otello

Opera will be broadcast, live, on free outdoor screens, and important museums, cultural institutions and auditoriums throughout all Spain

September 24, 8PM


Chamber Sundays

Soloists of Teatro Real Orquestra

September 25, 12PM

Teatro Real. Auditorium


Colloquium: Closing ceremony of the celebrations of the fourth centenary of William Shakespeare

November and December

British Council




Graça Prata Ramos
Dpto. de prensa | Press Office
Tfno.  +34 91 516 06 48
Móvil +34 630 64 88 85
Plaza Isabel II, s/n
28013 Madrid

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