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Si per ciel marmoreo giuro

Opera details:

Opera title:



Giuseppe Verdi




Otello Synopsis


Otello Libretto


English Deutsch

Duet details:




Otello / Iago


Tenor / Baritone



Previous scene: Oh! mostruosa colpa
Next scene: Intermezzo 3

Verdi's Otello - Act II finale (Jonas Kaufmann and Marco Vratogna, The Royal Opera)

Singer: Jonas Kaufmann

Jonas Kaufmann and Marco Vratogna sing 'Si, pel ciel marmoreo giuro' from Verdi's Otello in Keith Warner's production (2017)

Find out more at
Otello is Verdi’s final tragedy. After astonishing productivity in his early career, the composer slowed in later life; more than fifteen years separate Otello and its predecessor, Aida, although Verdi revised his earlier works Simon Boccanegra and Don Carlo in the interim. He was lured out of retirement by the composer and librettist Arrigo Boito, who tempted him with a proposal that was very close to Verdi’s heart: Shakespeare’s Othello. Boito adapted the libretto from Shakespeare’s play, with much intervention from Verdi. As the latest utterance from the master of Italian opera, the 1887 premiere was an instant success – but, more than that, Otello has been an important part of the international opera repertory ever since.

The Italian musical landscape had changed during Verdi’s period of isolation, with many of his compatriots finding inspiration in foreign operatic innovations. Verdi responds in Otello with music that looks back to the traditional forms and structures of Italian opera, but which carries an unmistakably different dramatic thrust and fluidity, in response to Shakespeare’s text. The results are thrilling: from the violent storm that opens the opera through to Iago’s blood-chilling Credo and Otello’s increasingly desperate duets with Desdemona. Keith Warner (Wozzeck, Der Ring des Nibelungen) directs a new production of this masterpiece, The Royal Opera’s first in 30 years.

Watch videos with other singers performing Si per ciel marmoreo giuro:


Si, pel ciel marmoreo giuro!
Per le attorte folgori!
Per la Morte e per l'oscuro mar sterminator!
D'ira e d'impeto tremendo
presto fia che sfolgori
Questa man ch'io levo e stendo!

Levando la mano al cielo. Otello fa per alzarsi; Jago lo trattiene inginocchiato

s'inginocchia anch'esso
Non v'alzate ancor!
Testimon è il Sol ch'io miro,
che m'irradia e inanima
l'ampia terra e il vasto spiro
del Creato inter,
che ad Otello io sacro ardenti,
core, braccio ed anima
s'anco ad opere cruenti
s'armi il suo voler!

alzando le mani al cielo come chi giura
Sì, pel ciel marmoreo giuro!
Per le attorte folgori!
Per la Morte e per l'oscuro mar sterminator!
D'ira e d'impeto tremendo presto fia
che sfolgori questa man ch'io levo e stendo!
Dio vendicator!


English Libretto or Translation:

(He kneels.)
Now, by yond marble heaven!
By the jagged lightning-flash!
By Death, and by the dark
death-dealing ocean flood!
In fury and dire compulsion
shall thunder-bolts soon rain

(raising his hands to the sky)
from this hand that I raise outstretched!
(He starts to rise; Iago prevents him.)

IAGO (kneeling also)
Do not rise yet!
Witness, you sun that I gaze on,
which lights me and which animates
the broad earth and the spiritual expanse
of the whole universe,
that to Othello I do consecrate
ardently heart, hands and soul
even though on bloody business
his will be bent!

(raising their hands to heaven in an oath-taking gesture)
Now, by yond marble heaven!
By the jagged lightning-flash, etc.
God of vengeance!

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