Verdi: Otello

Sir Colin Davis, Conductor

Sir Colin Davis’s eagerly anticipated recording of Verdi’s Otello is released on the 10th anniversary of the LSO Live label. Opera has always formed an important part of the label’s output – recording concert performances of opera allows listeners to enjoy the drama of a live performance without the problems associated with recording in a theatre.

Among Sir Colin’s greatest triumphs on LSO Live have been his award-winning recordings of Berlioz’operas plus Peter Grimes, Fidelio and Verdi’s final opera, Falstaff. Falstaff was released in 2004 and collected the Grammy Award for Best Opera.

Sir Colin is joined, in the title role of Otello, by one of the world’s most exciting young tenors. New Zealander Simon O’Neill stepped in at short notice to these concerts, making his debut in the role (although he had studied it with Domingo), delivering what can only be described as an astonishing performance. The villainous Iago is played by Gerald Finley and Otello’s wife, Desdemona, by Anne Schwanewilms.

Verdi had retired from opera following the premiere of Aida in 1871 but was eventually persuaded by his publisher to work with the librettist Arrigo Boito. As with Falstaff, Verdi’s final opera on which they would subsequently collaborate, they turned to Shakespeare for inspiration. Otello, which was premiered in 1887, marked a significant evolutionary development in Italian opera and is widely regarded as one of the great operatic masterpieces.

  • Gerald Finley – Jago
  • Simon O’Neill – Otello
  • Allan Clayton – Cassio
  • Ben Johnson – Roderigo
  • Alexander Tsymbalyuk – Lodovicio
  • Matthew Rose – Montano
  • Lukas Jakobski – A Herald
  • Anne Schwanewilms – Desdemona
  • Eufemia Tufano – Emilia

Performed with: London Symphony Chorus; London Symphony Orchestra

Released October 2010
LSO Live


Act I, Scene I, Storm: “Una vela! Una vela” (Coro, Montano, Cassio, Jago, Roderigo)


Act I, Scene II, “Esultate” (Otello, Coro)

Act I, Scene III, “Roderigo, ebben, che pensi” (Jago, Roderigo)

Act I, Scene IV, “Fuoco di gioia!” (Coro)

Act I, Scene V, “Roderigo, beviam” (Jago, Cassio, Coro, Roderigo)

Act I, Scene VI, “I naffia l’ugola” (Jago, Cassio, Roderigo, Coro)

Act I, Scene VII, “Capitano, v’attende” (Montano, Cassio, Jago, Roderigo, Coro)

Act I, Scene VIII, “Va al porto” (Jago, Coro, Otello, Cassio, Montano)

Act I, Scene IX, “Gia nella notte densa” (Otello, Desdemona)

Act II, Scene I, “Non ti crucciar” (Jago, Cassio)

Act II, Scene II, “Credo in un Dio crudel” (Jago)

Act II, Scene III, “Cio m’accora” (Jago, Otello)

Act II, Scene IV, Flower Chorus: “Un tal proposto (Jago, Coro, Fanciulli, Desdemona, Otello)

Act II, Scene V, “D’un uom che gemme” (Desdemona, Otello)

Act II, Scene VI, “Dammi la dolce” (Desdemona, Otello, Jago, Emilia)

Act II, Scene VII, “Ora e per sempre addio” (Otello, Jago)

Act II, Scene VIII, “Era la notte” (Jago, Otello)

Act II, Scene IX, “Si, pel ciel” (Otello, Jago)

Act III, Scene I, Prelude

Act III, Scene II, “La vedetta del porto” (Araldo, Otello, Jago, Desdemona)

Act III, Scene III, “Esterrefatta” (Desdemona, Otello)

Act III, Scene IV, “Dio! Mi potevi scagliar tutti i mali” (Otello, Jago)

Act III, Scene V, “Vieni, l’aula e deserta” (Jago, Cassio, Otello)

Act III, Scene VI, “Bada” (Jago, Cassio, Otello, Coro, Lodovico, Desdemona, Emilia, Roderigo)

Act III, Scene VII, “Messeri!” (Otello, Jago, Cassio, Lodovico)

Act III, Scene VIII, “A terra! …si” (Desdemona, Emilia, Cassio, Roderigo, Lodovico, Otello, Jago, Coro)

Act IV, Scene I, Prelude: “Era piu calmo?” (Emilia Desdemona)

Act IV, Scene II, “Piangea cantando” (Desdemona)

Act IV, Scene III, “Ave Maria” (Desdemona)

Act IV, Scene IV, “Chi e la?” (Desdemona, Otello)

Act IV, Scene V, “Diceste questa sera” (Otello, Desdemona, Emilia)

Act IV, Scene VI, “O mentitrice!” (Otello, Emilia, Cassio, Jago, Lodovico, Montano)

Act IV, Scene VII, “Niun mi tema” (Otello, Cassio, Lodovico, Montano)

Listen on Spotify