• Otello Educator Guide

What to expect from Otello

In 1871, Verdi’s Aida had taken the musi cal world by storm. Following this success, the 58-year-old composer considered himself retired and retreated to his villa in the country. But then his publisher, in an attempt to coax him into writing another opera, brought Verdi together with Arrigo Boito, a writer (and composer) 30 years Verdi’s junior, and together they suggested a new project: an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello. Italian opera would never be the same.

  • Classroom Activity

    A full-length activity, designed to support your ongoing curriculum.

  • Musical Highlights

    Three "Musical Highlights" designed to focus on bits of music from Otello to cultivate familiarity with the work.

  • Performance Activities

    Performance Activities for students to enjoy during the Metropolitan Opera HD transmission.

  • Post-Show Discussion

    A post-transmission activity, integrating the Live in HD experience into students' wider views of the performing arts and humanities.

In this Met production, star soprano Renée Fleming leads the cast in the role of Otello’s true love and victim, Desdemona. Johan Botha sings the title role of the fearless warrior destroyed by jealousy, and Falk Struckmann is the plotting Iago. Otello explores timeless themes like love, jealousy, trust, gossip, fame, the meaning of friendship, and the dangerous line between public and private life—all of which young people can relate to. Whether or not your students are familiar with Shakespeare’s play, this guide will introduce them to the music, text, and themes of Otello the opera. It will enhance their appreciation of Verdi and Boito’s achievement and, most importantly, it will enrich their enjoyment of the thrilling artistic experience that is the Met’s Live in HD presentation.