Italy, 1986

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Otello, the opera by Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by Arigo Boito, based on Shakespeare’s play and adapted for the screen by Franco Zeffirelli and Masolino D’Amico. Magnificent camera work by Ennio Guarnieri, in majestic natural surroundings with splendidly rendered music distinguishes this retelling of Venice’s Moor governor of Cyprus. Otello (Placido Domingo) has the poison of jealousy infused in his veins by his friend, Iago (Justino Diaz). The latter, by means of manipulating with a handkerchief once given as a love token gift, has Otello kill his beloved wife Desdomena (Katia Ricciarelli), then Iago and finally himself. All this whilst young Cassio (Desdomena’s supposed but innocent lover) watches what havoc men wreak on their souls and bodies when passion has relieved them of reason. Performers include Petra Malakova, Urbano Barberini, Sergio Nicolai, Edwin Francis, Massimo Foschi and features the Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Scala of Milan, music produced and conducted by Lorin Maazel. Sung in Italian with English subtitles.

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Franco Zeffirelli


Menahem Golan

Yoram Globus

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Golan-Globus Productions



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