Monday, 27 August 2012

Otello, 24th July

Well as the date suggests I actually saw this a bloody long time ago now!It's been a busy few weeks what with the London 2012 Olympics and much of my day job being taken up with that. So whilst it's quiet before the Paralympics kicks off in wonderful style, I'm catching up with other parts of my life. I'll keep this review short - Otello was a real winner for me and a great end to the 2011/12 season at the ROH. It was dramatic and musical in true Verdian style. There were one or two slow moments, but over all it was a good paced piece of opera and very refreshing compared to my Les Troyens nightmare. I think my two opera novices enjoyed it too - at the very least they were being exceptionally polite if they didn't!

I think one of the highlights of the evening was the singing itself (it sounds odvious, but that's always the case) - It almost turned into a disappointment when it was announced that Anja Herteros had pulled out of the final show due to ill health. She'd recieved rave reviews in the press and I was really looking forward to hearing her sing. However, after a season of cancellations by top stars, the ROH cam up trumps with a stellar replacement. Marina Poplavskaya happened to be in the audience that night and was called upon to fill the shoes of Herteros in the role of Desdemona. I really like Poplavskaya, so I was pleased. In addition to the singers, Pappano was on top form with the ROH Orchestra. He really does seem to be in his element when it comes to the Italian greats!

Overall a great opera, and a good one for beginners too, especially if you like your Shakespeare and know the story of Othello (Otello in Italian). It makes it easy to follow and it's a good length too. A great end to the season!

Rating: ****

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