See biographies by Stendhal (1822, repr. 1982), F. Toye (1934, repr. 1987), and H. Weinstock (1968, 2d ed. 1987).
|Role||Voice type||Premiere Cast, December 4, 1816|
(Conductor: - )
|The Doge of Venice||tenor||Gaetano Chizzola|
|A gondolier||tenor||Nicola Mollo|
The opera deviates quite heavily from Shakespeare's original, not only in that it takes place in Venice and not on Cyprus, but also in that the whole dramatic conflict develops in a different manner. A recent Opera Rara CD of the opera even includes an alternative happy ending, a common practice with drama and opera at one time. The role of Jago is reduced to some degree and is much less diabolical as in the original or in Verdi's - much later - version. Nevertheless, Rossini's Otello is an important milestone in the development of opera as musical drama. It obviously provided Giuseppe Verdi with a benchmark for his own adaptations of Shakespeare for opera.