Otello, ossia Il Moro di Venezia
Dramma per musica in Three Acts by Francesco Berio di Salsa
Distributed for Fondazione Rossini
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.