An extraordinary document. It's a really very rough TV recording of Otello from La Scala - it tends to look more like someone's taken a camcorder in there. But the singing and acting is on a different planet from almost anything else you can lay hands on.
Cappucilli is essentially the main draw, the most established of the stars. Domingo turns in a violently good performance, tearing about the stage and singing with an unreal stamina. Freni is in the ascendant.
But the fascinating centrepiece of the experience is that Kleiber is waging a minor war in the pit. Not only does he whip the orchestra into a frenzy from the start (he hardly waits to take to the podium before giving the downbeat) but he has to compete with a gruesomely vocal gallery of hecklers. The noise forces him to abandon downbeats on two occasions.
You won't want to get this in order to take in 'a performance' of Otello, but there is so much to wonder at it mustn't be overlooked. 7/10
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?