Melbourne Opera proudly presents the Australian premiere of Rossini’s dramatic masterpiece Otello, written a few months after The Barber of Seville in 1816.


This new production, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Rossini’s death, will be directed by the legendary film and opera director Bruce Beresford, conducted by Greg Hocking and Raymond Lawrence and sung in a new English translation by Geoffrey Harris.


Rossini’s Otello features no less than 6 demanding tenor roles.  Melbourne Opera has gathered an all star cast Australian cast led by Stephen Smith in the demanding title role, with popular international soprano Elena Xanthoudakis returning to debut as Desdemona.  Other cast members include Henry Choo, Boyd Owen, Jason Wasley, Roger Howell and Michael Dimovski.


Rossini’s Otello is immensely influential in the history of opera as, particularly in the 3rd act (the murder of Desdemona), Rossini breaks new ground in operatic drama and sets the stage for Bellini ,Donizetti and early Verdi.  The score is packed with exciting ensembles arias and duets featuring duelling tenors.  This is an important premiere and builds on Melbourne Opera’s outstanding reputation in bel canto opera.


Athenaeum Theatre


October 17, 20 (mat), 24, 27