Othello (or Otello) is an opera in four acts composed by Giuseppe Verdi, premiered in February 1887. As was customary at the time, a short ballet sequence was composed for the opera, to be inserted into Act III, just prior to the entrace of Lodovico, ambassador to the Venetian Republic.

When Verdi sent the original manuscript to his publisher Ricordi, he included this detailed description of the scenario: "Looking at the splendid, colonnaded scene of the Third Act, I decided to make the music go as follows: At the very beginning, to the sound of horns, a group of Turkish slave-girls dance with reluctance and ill-humor because of the very fact they are slaves. Then, hearing the strains of the Arab Song, they grow livelier and at the end dance quite wildly... At the Invocation to Allah, they all fall to the ground... Just then a group of beautiful Greek girls appears among the columns, and four measures later another similar group; at the thirteenth measure these two groups join in a quiet, aristocratic, classical dance. The next motif is that of La Muranese, which heralds the appearance of a "group" (!) of Venetians... Eight measures later, another group of Venetians enters and at the eighteenth measure (fortissimo) these two groups meet and dance at the front of the stage. After the fortissimo there is a passage of very light music in F-sharp, which should be danced by couples. This motif is repeated, louder, and then all the Venetians dance together. The 6/8 motif reappears, and here I should like to see another group of Venetians come forward. The War Song should be danced by men alone. At the recurrence of the first motif, all the Venetians dance again, then at the più mosso, Venetians, Turks, Greeks, and the rest all dance together... Amen."


  • Piccolo
  • 6 C Flutes
  • Alto Flute
  • Bass Flute
  • Contrabass Flute