Verdi’s Otello from Venice

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Verdi's 'Otello' from La Fenice in Venice. Verdi's Otello from La Fenice in Venice. (Michele Crosera)

Otello, Iago and Desdemona, three of literature's most complex and compelling characters, come to life in what many consider Verdi's most moving opera, Otello. Written when the composer was in his early 70s, Otello takes one of Shakespeare's finest tragedies and, if anything, makes it even more powerful and heartbreaking.

This production of Otello comes from one of the world's premiere destinations for opera tourists — or any other tourists, for that matter — the historic La Fenice in Venice. The cast features two American singers, tenor Gregory Kunde and soprano Leah Crocetto, as Otello and Desdemona, respectively, with baritone Lucio Gallo as the villain Iago.


Conductor: Myung-Whun Chung

Otello: Gregory Kunde (tenor)

Desdemona: Leah Crocetto (soprano)

Iago: Lucio Gallo (baritone)

Cassio: Francesco Marsiglia (tenor)

Roderigo: Antonello Ceron (tenor)

Emilia: Elisabetta Martorana (mezzo-soprano)

Lodovico: Mattia Devia (bass)

Montano: Matteo Ferrara (bass)

La Fenice Orchestra and Chorus

Comments [1]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

IMHO, OTELLO IS VERDI'S GREATEST OPERATIC ACHIEVEMENT WITH CHARACTERIZATIONS THAT GO WAY BEYOND THE SURFACE VISIBLITIES, NOT TO SAY THAT HIS AIDA'S "PERESONAGEE" ARE SUPERFICIAL, BUT JUST NOT SO CONFLICTED. BOTH OPERAS ARE UNIFIED IN THEME, ORCHESTRALLY AS WELL AS VOCALLY OF A MATURE MASTER COMPOSER. As a Wagnerian heldentenor, who has performed Otello and Rhadames and more than 60 other tenore di forza roles, I am enthused about any new productions of opera that emphasize the protagonists and not simply production values and sterile super sets and outrageous heavy costumes. Opera is primarily beautiful singing with a distinctive glorious timbre and stamina to maintain a credible vocalization and dramaturgical essaying of one's role in the opera. IT WOULD BE CRAZY-FUNNY IF OPERA WOULD ENTERTAIN THE FICTION THAT SUPER MODERNISTIC, LASER, BIG SET PRODUCTIONS WOULD COMPENSATE FOR LACKLUSTER SINGING VOICES. OPERA IS A COMPREHENSIVE AGGREGATE OF BEAUTIFUL SINGING, ACTING, SUPPORTED BY SETS AND COSTUMES AND ORCHESTRAL UNDERPINNING. MINUS GLORIOUS SINGING, IT WOULD JUST BE ENTERTAINMENT, WHICH MIGHT SUFFICE FOR SOME. . I am an opera composer and director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute. My three websites are, and, where one may download, free, at RECORDED SELECTIONS, 37 complete selections, "live," from my four solo concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall.

Jan. 20 2013 11:07 AM

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