Otello, the Moorish commander of the Venetian fleet, returns to Cyprus during a thunderstorm after his victory over the Turks. Iago, his ensign, is out for revenge because he has been passed over for promotion to captain in favour of Cassio. He stirs up Rodrigo against Cassio, getting him so drunk that a quarrel breaks out between the two men. In the tumult that ensues, Otello is left alone with his wife Desdemona; together the couple sing of their love.
Iago advises the downcast Cassio to ask Desdemona to intercede with Otello on his behalf. Whilst Cassio is talking to Desdemona, Iago fans Otello´s jealousy. When Desdemona begs her husband to forgive Cassio, Otello falls into a rage. Iago scretely steals a handkerchief of Desdeomna´s from his wife Emilia. He then tells Otello that he has heard Cassio calling out Desdemona´s name during his sleep, and seen him with her handkerchief. Otello swears bloody revenge.
Iago continues to intrigue. He arranges for Otello to overhear a conversation between Cassio and himself, though Otello is only able to catch some apparently incriminating fragments. During the conversation, Cassio can be seen holding Desdemona´s handkerchief. Which Iago has given him. Lodovico, a Venetian ambassador, arrives to inform Otello that he has been recalled to Venice. Terribly humiliated, Otello can barely control himself any longer, and when Desdemona welcomes Lodovico he hurls her to the floor. Everyone leaves the rooms horrified, leaving Iago to triumph over Otello as he sinks to the floor unconscious.
In her room, Desdemona is filled with gloomy forebodings as she prepares for bed. Otello approaches his sleeping wife; he awakens her and accuses her of infidelity. In vain Desdemona pleads her innocence: Otello strangles her. Awoken by the noise, Emilia rushes in. She explains the story of Desdemona´s handkerchief, whereupon Iago takes to his heels. Otello bids his beloved Desdemona farewell and stabs himself.
- Bertrand de Billy | Dirigent
- Christine Mielitz | Regie
- Christian Floeren | Bühne
- Christian Floeren | Kostüme
- Johan Botha | Otello, Befehlshaber der venezianischen Flotte
- Falk Struckmann | Jago, Fähnrich
- Soile Isokoski | Desdemona, Otellos Gemahlin
- | Cassio
- | Roderigo
- | Lodovico
- | Montano
- | ein Herold
- | Emilia