The opera opens on the coast of Cyprus, where - in the midst of a violent storm an anxious crowd is awaiting the return of Otello from his sea battle against the Turks. At last the General disembarks and announces that the foe has been vanquished - to the jubilation of the crowd. Iago, who hates Otello because he has passed over him and promoted Cassio as his captain, plots his revenge. First he gets Cassio drunk, after previously inciting Rodrigo against him. Montano becomes involved in the dispute, and has to draw his weapon to defend himself against Cassio. The general tumult draws the attention of Otello - exactly as Iago had planned. The General, who hates all forms of indiscipline, strips Cassio of his rank as punishment. Iago has difficulty in concealing his feelings of triumph. Then Otello calls for peace. Desdemona appears, and she and Otello sing a paean of praise to their mutual love under the stars.
Christian Franz, Emily Magee, Berlin State Opera Orchestra