I thought I'd never say this, this beats the Zeffirelli film!
As much as I do love the Zeffirelli film, the 1974 film and the 1979 Met production, this Otello was absolutely sublime from start to finish in every possible way. Brian Large does an impeccable job directing, and Georg Solti's conducting and musical direction is exquisite especially during Si pel ciel.
The story is highly compelling, the music especially the Credo is among Verdi's very best and the characters are brilliantly realised especially Iago, probably the only Verdi villain to have no redeeming qualities.
The costume and set design are spot on, very sumptuous, while the performances are brilliant. Placido Domingo, my personal favourite Otello, is magnificent in the title role, in perhaps the most difficult of the Verdi tenor roles alongside Duke of Mantua and Rodolfo(Luisa Miller). Kiri TeKanawa is spellbinding, Desdemona is delicate and poignant as she should be, but she is also dramatically and musically intense, something that not many sopranos doing the role completely nail excepting Scotto and perhaps Freni. Iago is chillingly played by Sergei Leiferkus, and alongside Cappuccilli, Milnes, Diaz and Ruffo his Credo is so slimy and conniving I had to check my arms for goosebumps, seriously this Iago is evil incarnate.
Overall, this Otello is absolutely brilliant. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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