Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Verdi Otello, Royal Opera House,

Perceptive analysis of Verdi Otello at the Royal Opera House. Another example of good music writing, knowledgeable, thoughtful, and constructive. The production is ancient, but Claire Seymour finds something new to say about it, and the singing. (Harteros, Antonenko) Read the whole piece in Opera Today. 

"The Christian iconography of the lush, Veronese-inspired Renaissance backdrops may be stretching the ‘tragic hero’ notion a little too far, especially given that the excision of most of Shakespeare’s first Act reduces the racial and religious antagonisms of the drama; moreover, the absence of Othello’s final ‘redeeming’ Act 5 monologue, which renders his suicide a restitution of nobility and an act of selfless service to the state, means that we feel pity but perhaps not catharsis at the end of the opera. But, the Crucifixion allusions do add to the timeless quality of the whole.

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