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NEW GERMAN TRANSLATION OF ARRIGO BOITO’S libretto by WALTER
FELSENSTEIN, assisted by CARL STUEBER
Script and Direction WALTER FELSENSTEIN, GEORG MIELKE
Conductor KURT MASUR
Set Design ALFRED TOLLE
following the Set Design by RUDOLF HEINRICH
Costume Design HELGA SCHERFF
HANNS NOCKER, CHRISTA NOACK, VLADIMÍR BAUER, HANNA
ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS OF THE KOMISCHE OPER BERLIN
Walter Felsenstein (1901–1975), founder and general director of
the Komische Oper in Berlin, was one of the twentieth century’s
greatest creative theatre directors, who played a hugely important
role in the revival of opera as a theatrical art form. A brilliant
artist who directed over 190 productions during the course of his
career, he was equally committed to the works, their creators, the
ensemble and the audience.
For Felsenstein, Verdi’s “Othello” was one of the most signifi cant
works in the history of opera. This was why he chose it to shoot
the first colour opera film for DEFA in 1969. In his own interpretation,
Felsenstein succeeded in creating a work that was not simply a
documentation of the stage production, but a work that used
cinematic means in order to portray the “unbearable happiness”
that “Othello” conveys.
Guiseppe Verdi who was enthused by
Shakespeare’s plays produced with “Othello” an ingenious late
work that the fantastic librettist, Arrigo Boito, had specially adapted
for him beforehand.
In his penultimate opera, the composer once again demonstrates
his entire creative energy and turns the beauty and tragedy
of the love between the endearing Desdemona and Othello, the
commander who everyone regards mistrustfully because he is
black, into music that excites the audience today just as much
as it did back then. Felsenstein produces with “Othello” a fi lm
that tells a tragic story interwoven with great music and at the
same time documents his own dramaturgical work.
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