Otello is one of my favourite Verdis alongside the likes of La Traviata and Don Carlo. The story is still compelling, and the music is some of Verdi's best(in my opinion, Iago's Credo is actually an improvement on Shakespeare's play, I do find Iago's villainy more believable in the opera). And while I do prefer the Zeffirelli film, the 1992 and 1974 productions, this Otello is wonderful. The costumes are eye catching, especially Desdemona's, and I personally liked the sets with the video of a storm a nice touch and the divided stage symbolic perhaps of Otello and Desdemona's increasing divide. The props are few, and considering how dramatic the drama of Otello is this was kind of a good thing for me. The sound is very good too, and the video directing and quality is some of the best I've seen of any opera DVD. Musically it is incredibly exciting. Si Pel Ciel sends up a storm, as does the Drinking Song and the Credo, while Desdemona's arias(especially Ave Maria) is performed with such sensitivity by the orchestra. Riccardo Muti's conducting is faithful and never plodding, too fast or in-your-face, simply perfect. The three principals I was really impressed, especially the Desdemona of Marina Poplavskaya, a very affecting and beautifully sung performance indeed. Aleksandrs Antonenko has great potential, sure there are parts where he isn't sure what to do with himself, but he does have the right intensity for the demanding title role of Otello and he sings with ringing clarity. Carlos Alvarez may occasionally lack smoothness, but his dark burnished tone is perfect and his Iago is evil-personified. Stephen Costello is a promising Cassio also with a lovely lyric tenor voice, and Ludovico and Emilia are also solid. All in all, I loved it. 9/10 Bethany Cox
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?