Verdi's Otello at Lyric Opera of Chicago

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Johan Botha as Otello and Ana Maria Martinez as Desdemona in 'Otello' at the Lyric Opera Chicago. Johan Botha as Otello and Ana Maria Martinez as Desdemona in 'Otello' at the Lyric Opera Chicago. (Dan Rest/Lyric Opera Chicago)

A new season of broadcasts from the Lyric Opera of Chicago kicks off with Verdi's Otello, a musically and emotionally complex opera founded on jealousy and insecurity. In this production of Verdi's macabre opera Johan Botha plays the Moor Otello and Ana Maria Martinez plays his blushing bride Desdemona. 

Our two lovers happily wed, despite the reservations of a few characters — namely the malicious Iago (Falk Struckmann) and Desdemona's father, a Senator. The opera opens with Otello and Desdemona's arrival in Cyprus, where Otello will serve as governor. Here we meet Iago, an ensign to Otello jealous of his successes, who vows to destroy him. The drama follows Iago as he plants seeds of doubt in Otello's trust of his wife and closest allies.   

Cast:

Montano: Anthony Clark Evans
Cassio: Antonio Poli
Iago: Falk Struckmann
Roderigo: John Irvin
Otello: Johan Botha
Desdemona: Ana María Martínez
Emilia: Julie Anne Miller
A Herald: Richard Ollarsaba
Lodovico: Evan Boyer

Conductor: Bertrand De Billy
Stage Director: Sir Peter Hall
Revival Director: Ashley Dean
Chorus: Anima - Young Singers of Greater Chicago
Chorus Master: Emily Ellsworth
Chorus: Lyric Opera Chorus
Chorus Master: Michael Black

Comments [3]

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

THE LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO has a noble history. Don't follow the normal way major opera companies make casting decisions by casting only from those under contract with their company. Do not cast for merely the youngest nor the most experienced, but cast for the best obtainable.

Jun. 21 2014 04:08 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

OTELLO requires in the title role and in the role of Iago full-bodied stentorian voices with stamina and easy trumpet like high notes. Neither JOHAN BOTHA as Otello nor FRALK STRUCKMANN as Iago had much quality in their individual vocal timbres and were underpowered, thin-voiced and strained on their unfocussed high notes. Only ANA MARIA MARTINEZ as Desdemona was impressive in voice quality and had the heft requireed. Both gentlemen should improve their vocal techniques which are rough and crude. Maestro BERTREAND DE BILLY knows the score and manages to coordinate and balance all the singers and orchestra amsterfully.

May. 24 2014 06:07 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

How will we survive without Ira and Margaret gushing all over the damn place.

May. 24 2014 09:54 AM

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