Verdi's 'Otello' -
'... this Desdemona can float a line with utmost tenderness ...'
Antoni Ros-Marbà and the Liceu orchestra hurl themselves at the shores of Cyprus with an elemental
ferocity that should send Othello straight to the bottom of the sea and thus spare us the protracted
horrors of this murderous tale
[watch and listen -- DVD 1 chapter 2, 1:55-3:03].
Desdemona and the chorus are naturally frantic, as also is the wind machine that shrieks through the score,
even if the absent-minded Verdi omitted to write for it. This most exacting of all composers also demanded
on occasion a dynamic as precise as pppppp. He would not have approved the cavalier attitude of
the Barcelona team to such instructions. I have every sympathy for their being carried away by so
compelling a drama, none for any wilful disdain of Verdi's markings.
Tempestuous storms and thunderbolts! Desdemona (Krassimira Stoyanova) and members of the chorus at the start of Act 1 of Verdi's 'Otello'. DVD screenshot © 2006 Opus Arte/Gran Teatre del Liceu
Copyright © 23 July 2007
Robert Anderson, London UK