Otello

 

Verdi Otello opera to libretto by Arrigo Boito. Directed 2017 by Keith Warner at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Stars Jonas Kaufmann (Otello), Marco Vratogna (Iago), Maria Agresta (Desdemona), Frédéric Antoun (Cassio), Kai Rüütel (Emilia), Thomas Atkins (Roderigo), Simon Shibambu (Montano), In Sung Sim (Lodovico), and Thomas Barnard (Herald). Sir Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House (Concert Master Vasko Vassilev) and the Royal Opera Chorus (Chorus Director William Spaulding). Sets by Boris Kudlička; costumes by Kaspar Glarner; lighting by Bruno Poet; movement direction by Michael Barry, and fight direction by Ran Arthur Braun. Directed for TV by Jonathan Haswell. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

So many Otellos: so little time! It’s November 2018 and we now have 8 recordings of this opera. Once again Hugo Shirley comes to the rescue. He reports in the August 2018 Gramophone (page 94) that there is much to admire and appreciate in this Royal Opera show, but Hugo misses the “element of wildness” that’s key to the personality of warrior Otello. But Hugo still recommends this disc over the herd thanks to the modest Sony price (opening at about 1/2 of what the others charge).

Here are two official clips: