I have been a huge fan of classical music and opera for as long as I can remember. Verdi is one of my favourites when it comes to opera, and Otello is one of my favourites of his along with Aida, La Traviata, Rigoletto, Don Carlo and Il Trovatore. Not just for the story and characters, which on both counts for me are among the strongest-formed in any of Verdi's operas, but also for the music. While I adore Desdemona's Willow Song and Esultate, my favourites are Otello and Iago's revenge duet and Iago's blasphemous and chilling Credo in un dio crudel.
This is a very good production. While the camera work is too rough sometimes for my tastes lacking in skill and subtlety, the costumes and sets are great with an authentic look to them without being too fancy. The orchestra is superb, and Kleiber's conducting is done with real finesse. The performances are right on the money, Placido Domingo is a magnificent Otello and Mirella Freni is a poignant Desdemona. But it is the performance of Pierro Cappuccilli, a fine baritone I wasn't familiar at all with two years ago but now he is a firm favourite of mine, who captivates, especially in the Credo which he owns(Sherrill Milnes comes very close though).
All in all, very good helped by the superb music and performances. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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