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Verdi - Otello

Otello Jose Cura

Jago Lado Ataneli

Cassio Vittorio Grigolo

Roderigo Vicenc Esteve Madrid

Lodovico Giorgio Giuseppini

Montano Francisco Santiago

Herald Roberto Accurso

Desdemona Krassimira Stoyanova

Emilia Ketevan Kemoklidze

 

Conductor Antoni Ros-Marba

Stage Director Willy Decker

Sets & Costumes John Macfarlane

Lighting David Finn

Choreographer Athol Farmer

 

Opus Arte OA 0963 D [2 DVDs; Gran Teatre del Liceu, February 2006 ]
(For a wide range of photographs of see www.cantolirico.com/content/view/408/34/.)

Willy Decker's lean and dramatic production of Otello was first seen in Brussels in 1997 and revived in Geneva in 2004, before it reached Barcelona where it was filmed. He uses a stage which is bare but for an outsize cross, but employs colour to delineate spaces. The costumes (John Mcfarlane) by contrast are detailed, and Decker groups the chorus in highly stylised poses (choreography by Athol Farmer), almost dreamlike in quality. It is visually stunning and concentrates the focus on the main protagonists, whose emotions are more vividly portrayed against the abstract background.

 

At one stage a vast mirror forms the back drop and we watch in duplicate as Otello (Jose Cura) and Desdemona (Krassimira Stoyanova) flutter like moths ever closer to the flame that will consume them Cura gives a most eloquent account of a man on the verge of mental disintegration, and is not afraid to show the conflict in his voice. As Act III merges into Act IV (there are no curtains in this production) he is seen in close up lying prostrate, twitching and drumming his fingers on the stage whilst he struggles for control.

 

Lado Ataneli's Jago is stolidly manipulative, well contrasted by Vittorio Grigorio's meek-mannered Cassio.

 

The vocal honours go to Krassimira Stoyanova. Her Willow Song is heartbreakingly beautiful, and final scene duet with Jose Cura is dramatically intense.

 

Serena Fenwick