Tag Archives: Otello

Verdi Otello Kaufmann

Jonas Kaufmann sang the title role Otello for the first time in 2017. The venue was London’s Royal Opera House. Antonio Pappano conducted then as he does on the CD of Verdi’s masterpiece issued earlier this year by Sony . Both tenor and conductor seemed to have a slightly tenuous grasp of Verdi’s penultimate opera…


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Finale 23 – Otello Act 3

I’ve previously written about this finale, but it’s so good that I thought I’d post another version of it to compliment the three posted in June 2018. The great concertatos that fill Verdi’s operas return in a spectacular conclusion to Act 3 of Verdi’s Otello. Though Verdi’s great ensembles are glorious and unsurpassed, they had…


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Esultate – Otello’s Entrance

There are many great entrances in opera. But none seems as compelling, informative, and brief as that of the title character in Verdi’s Otello. Only 12 bars long, it lasts barely more than half a minute yet defines Otello’s persona with a force and directness that is without peer. Julian Budden in his exegesis of…


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Tutto Verdi – Otello

Verdi’s penultimate opera is both a supreme masterpiece and the greatest killer of tenors in the Italian repertory. I’ve written enough about the merits of this opera on these pages to allow me to concentrate solely on the video disc that is part of Parma’s survey of all Verdi’s operas and on Latvian tenor Aleksandrs…


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Finale 18 – Otello Act 3

The finale of Act 3 of Verdi’s Otello consists of the most elaborate concertato that Verdi ever wrote. The following comments borrow from Julian Budden’s analysis of this piece in the third volume of his definitive The Operas of Verdi. Verdi wrote great concertatos throughout his career. They are among the great achievements in opera. Otello’s…


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Kaufmann as Otello

The Royal Opera House in London presented its new production of Verdi’s Otello last June. The show’s big attraction was the first performance of the opera’s title role by Jonas Kaufmann. The BBC broadcasted the opening night performance yesterday. The recording will available on its website for a month. Kaufmann’s dark voice prompted many to…


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Si Pel Ciel – Otello Act 2

Verdi’s penultimate opera is a masterpiece of dramatic cohesion and inspiration. Set to one of opera’s greatest librettos, it reflects all that its composer had learned from a life spent in the the theater. The duet, ‘Si pel ciel’, that ends the second act is as rousing as anything Verdi had written 40 years earlier,…


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Otello and Racism

Otello is an opera by Giuseppe Verdi and Arrigo Boito based on Shakespeare’s play Othello. Both the play and the opera’s libretto explicitly say that Otello (Othello) is a black man. The title character requires a dramatic tenor of extraordinary vocal power and stamina. Since the opera’s premiere in 1887 the only tenors able to…


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