Gregory Kunde, who sings the title role in Teatro Real’s production, compares the spoken words of Shakespeare and sung text by Verdi as Othello/Otello, tormented, bids farewell to his simpler times when he was just a general.
I had been happy if the general camp,
Pioneers and all, had tasted her sweet body,
So I had nothing known. Oh, now forever
Farewell the tranquil mind! Farewell content!
Farewell the plumèd troops and the big wars
That makes ambition virtue! Oh, farewell!
Farewell the neighing steed and the shrill trump,
The spirit-stirring drum, th' ear-piercing fife,
The royal banner, and all quality,
Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!
And O you mortal engines, whose rude throats
The immortal Jove’s dead clamors counterfeit,
Farewell! Othello’s occupation’s gone.
Otello Act 3, Scene 3
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