The Kennedy Center


Washington National Opera: Otello

Saturday, October 26, 2019 - Saturday, November 16, 2019

Washington National Opera

Verdi’s epic retelling of Shakespeare’s tragedy traces the collapse of a great hero. As Iago manipulates Otello, the general will confront his deadliest enemy: his jealous heart.

On Sale: June 4, 2019

Members: May 28, 2019

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$45.00 - $299.00

Run Time

Running Time: TBA


His deadliest enemy is his jealous heart.


Music by Giuseppe Verdi / Libretto by Arrigo Boito, based on Shakespeare’s Othello 
In Italian with Projected English Titles / Production from English National Opera

As a raging storm breaks on Cyprus, the governor Otello returns victorious from battle. But there is another storm brewing. Iago, Otello’s ensign, launches a malicious scheme to lead his chief to believe his wife Desdemona is unfaithful. As Iago’s manipulations decay Otello’s trust in those he loves, the great hero will confront his most fatal enemy: his own jealousy.

We launch the new season with Verdi’s monumental retelling of Shakespeare’s masterpiece, last staged by WNO nearly 20 years ago. A powerhouse cast assembles to perform some of opera’s most demanding vocals, including Otello’s vigorous role often dubbed the “Mount Everest” of the tenor repertory. Verdi’s sweeping music offers a psychological medium to explore good and evil, from Desdemona’s tender “Ave Maria” to Iago’s villainous “I believe in a cruel God” manifesto. Behold the downward spiral of a celebrated leader—and see who tragically falls with him.


Leah Crocetto
Russell Thomas
George Gagnidze*
Deborah Nansteel†
Zach Borichevsky*
Wei Wu†


Daniele Callegari
David Alden
Associate Director:
Ian Rutherford
Scenic/Costume Designer:
Jon Morrell
Lighting Designer:
Andrew Cutbush (original designs by Adam Silverman)
Maxine Braham*

† Alumnus of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program
* WNO Debut


Join a free lecture before every Opera House production and Blue! Delve deeper as you take a peek inside the composer’s mind, behind the scenes of planning a production, and into the history and social context of each opera. These lectures are free, but patrons must present a ticket from any performance of the production that is being discussed in the lecture.

Most Pre-Performance Talks begin 1 hour before the performance and last 25–30 minutes. Musicologist Saul Lilienstein’s talk is scheduled for Wed., Oct. 30, beginning 1 hour and 15 minutes before the performance and lasting 35–40 minutes.


Don't miss your opportunity to engage directly with our artists and share your thoughts on the experience you just had! Here's your chance to ask questions and get the inside scoop on the production from members of the cast and creative team. All discussions begin immediately after the performance and are free with your ticket.

Otello Artist Q&A Dates:
Sun., Nov. 3
Mon., Nov. 11


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