Wednesday , June 16 2021

Othello by Giuseppe Verdi

Reviews /
from Quentin Lawrence

Easter Verdien, humane fragility

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The late Verdi opera, ОТЕЛО, created in 1887, was given in Paris in its original version only 89 years later. Paris has since adopted and adapted in several forms. Latest: Romanian Andrei Sherban's scenario for the first time in 2004 in Bastille, and continued this year with the particularly anticipated musical performance: Billy in the direction, Alanya-Kurzak in Othello-Desdemona and Gagnidze in Jago obscur. Waiting always creates a surprise, this is first confirmed.

The opera opens on the stage of the storm, which sets the tone of the story promised for the worst goals: violence, panic, fatality, power. Bertrand de Billy withdraws the Bastille, from the first measures, this time of madness and death, thanks to the energetic and inspired direction. The Paris National Opera Orchestra meets with precision and enthusiasm, although sometimes we wait for the benches to listen to more subtle colors. Intensive and full of contrasts, Verdi's score is correctly marked. Apparently as attentive to the stage for his orchestra, a Canadian conductor sometimes appears to relax to give too much imprecise rhythm at slow tempos and recitations, leaving some gaps.

Hence, the Paris Opera is a staging by Andrew Sherban already seen in the Bastille in 2004 and 2011 (see WT n ° 2849). Sweet décor wants to create a Mediterranean atmosphere: a sea in the distance, a palm tree, and a wall of arches sandstone. Flags, blazons, soldiers and guns are recalled on a fuzzy background. During the four works, the curtains of the suspended bricks slide on the rails and share the scene in different spaces: a practical process, but unfortunately it is not very delicate … Karolina Aleksandar is already in 2011 questioning the overall cohesion and interest of certain choices – that the director claims to be pure Shakespeare in inspiration – as well as the persistence of the red Chesterfield armchairs whose contribution or symbolic meaning is difficult to grasp. The whole lack of cohesion and a bit of elegance.

Grazia Galan dresses women with long dresses, Desdemona subsequently wears white, black, red, and then white again to die. Men are in a dark military uniform and quite sober, although the Venetian Venetian carries a semi-military suit, semi-professional, slightly different.

Verdi previously thought he would baptize his opera "Jago", because the whole plot is based on the chiefs of the clerk. The treacherous tragedy and strategist of the evil drama, Jago interprets George Gagnidze, convinced of her impressive growth and the dark accents of her timbre. He plays more Machiavelli by a demonic character, who manipulates the strings of evil and paralyzes the moor's moon, welcomes the fact that "the poison works," and then rejoices that his business brings its funeral fruits. If the bass is sometimes difficult to decompose and almost compressed, the voice is deep and audible, the light media suggest pretty colors.

From Roberto Alanya comes the greatest surprise of the evening. He served with an energetic and perfectly projected voice, a flawless diction, a clear and colorful stamp, the French tenor provides a first part full of pain and noticed. Alignment after heavy rest goes through heavy emissions, and some serious undercover even "scratched": the voice is hoarse and forces it to force. If the job is done with courage, it's time to finish the show. Alanya properly restores prisoner Othello to a fatal whirlwind of feelings, who, being cast out of any control of himself, slips from mistrust to pain, from jealousy to hysteria, to ultimately manage only with a terrible instinct of death.

On this unshakable wall of nonsense and paranoia, the attacks on Desdemona's sincerity by Alexandra Kurzak end up exhausting and killing him. Sensitive, sincere and touched, besides her lyrical talent already spotted in Violeta this year, she also boasts persuasive acting performances. The Polish singer stands out in this anticipated production, thanks to her graceful line of singing, her precise diction and her sense of melody and true nuances, as in Act IV, where her serious safety and her beautiful heights are sung by the beautiful Panthea Kanto supported touching pianissimos.

Frederic Antoine plays Casio as brave as honest. Its quality of performance causes regret voice sometimes missing a little gloss, especially serious. Lodovico is sung by Paul Gay, who carries the character of charisma and authority and whose seriousness is ensured, and the deep and humble timbre. Roderigo plays the energetic Alessandro Libratore with a clear voice. Although not very present in the result, Marie Garrot makes Emilia a pain and anger, noticed in a nice last act.

The choruses, whose clarity, accuracy and thickness are appreciated, set the ribbon high from the first scene of the storm to bring the whole body and dynamics to this Othello.

To the tragic Verdian came tonight to add the surprise of the show live. But does the fragility of the heroic tenor also have a little of its magnificence?

ОТЕЛО by Giuseppe Verdi, opera in four works, after William Shakespeare, created in 1887.

Music direction Bertrand de Billy, directed by Andrew Sherban, is set by Peter Pubst, costume designers Galina Galan, the Enlightenment Joel Charsbigt, the director of the choir Jose Luis Basso.

Orchestra and Choir of the Paris National Opera, Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine / Children's Choir of the Paris National Opera

By: Othello Roberto Alanya, Desdemona Alexandra Kurzak, Jago George Gagnidze, Cassio Frederick Antoine, Roderigo Alessandro Liberator, Lodovicho Paul Gay, Montano Thomas Dear, Emilio Marie Garrot, Araldo Floren Mbia.

Opera Bastille, 7, 13, 16, 20, 23, 26 and 29, 2019 at 19:30.

April 1 and 4, at 19.30. April 7th at 2:30 pm

08 92 89 90 90 – +33 1 72 29 35 35 –


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