Tragedy impinged on literary, historical and musical manuscripts, with good results
Othello defeated the Turkish navy in the Mediterranean, ensuring Venetian rule in Cyprus. That event opens the eponymous opera by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), which premiered at La Scala in 1887. Iago, Othello’s ensign, stops at nothing to destroy him. In return for his treason, his famous aria fetched €135,240 at Drouot, a significant result explained by the fact that Verdi’s working manuscripts are extremely rare. His glory was already well established by the time "Othello" premiered in Milan. "Nabucco", created for the same stage in 1842, had thrust him to the ranks of Italy’s most respected maestri. At a time when Italians were demanding independence, the words “freedom” and “homeland” rang out even more loudly. Nobody doubted Verdi’s patriotism for an instant: he was elected to the Turin Parliament in 1861. Nothing could stop his creative genius. A fervent admirer of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), the composer wrote three operas – "Othello", "Macbeth" and "Falstaff" – directly based on his plays but never managed to create a faithful adaptation of "King Lear", so great was his fear that he would not do justice to the original text.