Sunday, April 24, 2016

Verdi Otello Karajan This was an opera written by Verdi in his last years. It is his penultimate opera. The libretto for this opera was written by Arrigo Boito who is famous for his opera Mefistofele. He also worked on several other libretti for other composers. It is a mighty good effort and even Shakespeare would be proud of this opera. The cast, the sets and the orchestra along with its conducting are all excellent. Otello is played by Jon Vickers who delivers with a booming voice. It is well matched for this part. He is a fine actor, too. Mirella Freni plays Desdemona and sings flawlessly. She is also a fine actress. Peter Glossop plays Iago. The sets of this opera are highly effective. The opera was shot partially in Venice and the setting is in a medieval castle that has brilliant murals. You will come across some stunning and lavish sets in this particular production. Karajan does a Hitchcock in the tavern scene in the first act. Karajan has directed this film and conducted the Berlin Philharmonic and the singers in this production. I have never heard any other orchestra play Otello with such aplomb and in these forty one years, I do not think such orchestral playing for this opera has been surpassed. It is simply an outstanding performance.

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