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IAGO
Act 1 Scene 1

Opera Librettos
by
Gene Tyburn

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A street in Venice. It is night, and we see the Doges Palace. Out of the shadows comes Iago. Though the music may be serious and fraught with danger Iago is in good humor as revenge is his forte. Best portrayed as an evil but lovable villian


Iago

HE SINGS THIS ARIA

I am Iago
Know then and certain be
I am the villian of this opera
I am a man caught up in hell
on fire...
In burning pain
no doubt... because of jealousy.
After personal pleading to my general the Moor
and ask of him to raise me high
for service rendered years before
he cuts me off, this blackamoor,
and tells me another has been chosen
for this task.
I should have known
and need not ask.

One Michael Cassio, a Florentine
who grew up rich on cheese and wine
He knows not battle
nor Brigantine,
but was raised up high
whils't I decline.
So I hate the Moor
and will him destroy
as one does flies by churlish boys.

I am Iago
Know then and certain be
I am the villian of this opera
I am a man caught up in hell
on fire...
In burning pain
no doubt... because of jealousy.

I'll weave and sew... I'll darn and knit.
I'll top them all by using wit.
They will dangle far below
for shaming the honest trusted friend
known to all... as Iago

Now to achieve my end I'll need a fool
to do my bidding and be my tool.
Here comes that love sick knave
Rodrigo called.
I'll use him in my double game
As if he were my playing card


ENTER RODRIGO, HE’S A WHINING FOOL.
A FOP AND SYCOPHANT, DESPERTLY IN LOVE
WITH DESDEMONA.

well met senior Rodrigo.
Still dream on Desdemona?

Rodrigo

Ay sir!
And if I cannot have her
I'll drown myself, I swear it now.
Only your promise to make her mine
has kept me from the Grand Canal.

Iago

WITH FALSE SYMPATHY

Speak no more of drowning.
Put money in thy purse
my fellow soul in pain.
Trust in me, to show the way.
Desdemona will grace your bed.
If I prove false, then have my head.

THE SOUND OF MEN APPROACHING
IAGO TO THE AUDIENCE

Here comes the Moor and his licking pup.
Now follow close and watch me act
Be amused, but say not ought
My time will come, fear it not.

OTHELLO AND CASSIO ENTER,... IAGO BOWS AND SINGS OUT,
RODERIGO HIDES IN THE SHADOWS

Hail honored Lord... Senior Cassio, Hail.
What go about you on such a night?

Othello

Double troubles that concern us and the state
that will keep us all... this night awake.

Cassio

Desdemona's father disputes our general's marriage vows,
and claims his daughter, this very night,
was by magic... taken from his sight.

Othello

WITH BRAVADO

Ha! More dangerous to the Venetian State
the twisted Turks invade Cyprus this very night.
We must haste our Navy there
Perpare to die in bloody fight.

Iago

WITH GREAT PRETENSE OF ZEAL

O my soldiers dream!!!
What more Sir Cassio?

Cassio

We have but this private matter to resolve
to clear the accusation made
by the father she disobeyed.

Othello

Lieutenant Cassio,
fetch my new bride here, that before this gathering
she may speak and satisfy all
that the love betwix us this night sworn
is deep... is true
and mutually borne

Cassio Exits

Iago

Here comes Barbantio...
red in face
Hot steel in hand

ENTER DESDEMONA’S ANGRY FATHER AND HIS MEN.
IAGO DRAWS HIS SWORD TO PROTECT
OTHELLO FROM BARBANTIO AND HIS FAMILY

Othello

Calm yourself ensign. We are armed with honor here.

Barbantio

Foul thief!
Where hide you my enchanted daughter?

Othello

ooooooooOO in my heart
where you did teach her look on me
and view within this tawny hide

Barbantio

True enough!
But was not my intent
to bring to pass you conjoining state,
but to learn of other worlds.
I pray to the GOD, I'm not too late.

Othello

BIG ARIA

And so you are, Senior.
'Twas you that brought me to your table
where I recounted 'bout my life
my early soldiering
Victories won and lost by me
captured once in raging sea.
From thence sold into slavery!
Escaped I did over blowing sand,
to this... fantastical pass in time
where I now, your navy, do command!
She so amazed and wondered at my tale
that she did love me for my dangers past
then touched my hand and held it fast.
If this be witchery, as you do claim
then guilty I am and marked for shame.

DESDEMONA AND CASIO ENTER., SHE KNEELS
IN FRONT OF OTHELLO AND KISSES HIS HAND

Desdemona your father needs confirmation
that your love was not by witchcraft got!

Desdemona

ARIA

Say no more my Lord... I know his pain
and would that I could ease it so
he showed the way that love was not
bought with gold and bolts of cloth
but with eyes that pierced deep inside
to reveal the needy loving heart.

Iago

ASIDE TO THE AUDIENCE IN DISGUST

My gorge shall revolt to hear
this sweet honeyed tale of love
told yet another time.

HE SPITS

Swallow hard Iago... swallow hard.

Barbantio

IN ANGER

Then the Devil be with you twain!
I am glad I have no other child
as her escape would drive me wild!
This done, no more will I think on you
How now proceed you general?

Othello

We to Cyprus in early light,
There to engage the Ottomites.
Senior's Adieu... Cassio!
Make our navy fit for transport now
Desdemona and I shall board and sail
thence to Cyprus troubled isle.

MUSIC MILITARY STARTS SOFTLY, AS OFF TO WAR

Barbantio

AS BARBANTIO EXITS WITH HIS FAMILY, HE TURNS AND CRIES OUT
A CURSE ON OTHELLO’S HEAD

Look to her Moor!
If thou hast eyes to see.
She has deceived her father
and may do so much... I hope to thee!

THEY EXIT

Othello

My life upon her faith!
So all good night.
To your beds, all and one.
Our fleet sets forth at morning sun.

ALL EXIT, EXCEPT IAGO AND RODRIGO

Iago

I have it now!!!
He bespoke the way.
I will destroy him sure.
Tush, tush, tush
"His life upon her faith"... HA!
She cannot love him long
He's too old and trusting...
She is far too young.
Go... farewell Rodrigo... Go! Go! Go !
Put money in thy purse.
In morn for Cyprus we embark
Desdemona will be your bride
Call me "Turk" if I do lie.

Rodrigo

EXCITED

I am gone... I'll sell all my land
Placing my fortune, fate and sword
in thy trusting plotting hands.

HE EXITS

Iago

IN SECRETE TO THE AUDIENCE

Thus do I make my fool... my purse.

IAGO THEN, TURNS VERY SERIOUS, HE WALKS
TO THE AUDIENCE AND LOOKS BOTH WAYS, TO
DIVULGE A DARK CONFIDENCE

Know then this... as well
It gnaws at my pride.
Othello... "the Honorable"
has topped my own wife.
oooooooo red hot burning deity!!!
That self-same pain that I endured
will I now inflect upon this
Proud... self righteous... love struck... Moor!

A GLEEFUL LAUGH, FULL OF IMPENDING REVENGE

HAAAAAAAAAAAA HA! HA!

OR

Thus do I make my fool my purse
Ohhhh red hot burning deity
That self same pain that I endure
Will I inflict upon this
proud... self-righteous... love stuck... moor!
Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Ha! Ha!

IAGO by Gene Tyburn ©1996, all rights reserved.