Columns linked to Marco Vratogna

Otello at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Sam Smith

Like the Shakespeare play upon which it is based, Giuseppe Verdi’s penultimate opera Otello of 1887 is the story of a general in the Venetian military whose skills in managing political and personal affairs do not match those he has demonstrated in fighting. When his ‘friend’ Iago feels Otello has sidelined him for promotion, he lays a trap to make Otello believe his wife Desdemona has been unfaithful, and the general falls whole-heartedly for the deception with...

Otello sinks into mediocrity

Xavier Pujol

Bad singing and worse staging. Otello, Verdi’s masterpiece with a libretto by Arrigo Boito – another masterpiece – and based on Shakespeare’s masterpiece, sank clumsily in its return to Liceu’s stage, after 10 years of absence. It isn’t easy to ruin three masterpieces, but in this occasion it was achieved.   Locating the opera in a refugee camp, besides resulting awkwardly fashionable, alters seriously the relationship and the balance...