Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Notoriously difficult to write about really good opera performances; easier to pick holes. So when I say that tonight’s Otello was one of the very best-sung I’ve ever heard, in I suppose well over sixty years of opera-going, I’ve more or less said it all. This New Zealand tenor Simon O’Neill  must certainly be  among the finest heldentenors now performing, and Claudio Sgura was a properly dark Iago, robust but never more melodramatic than the music demands. Lianna Haroutounuian a very moving Desdemona. The chorus – as ever – completely in charge of their work, especially in the magnificent opening scene. The elderly production held up well – though what was with the tattered hole in the ceiling? – some calamity there, I fancy. The acting as good as one can expect of fine singers – and that’s especially welcome in Otello, which can seem pretty silly (that Desdemona’s a  fool to herself, carrying on with Cassio when she knows it upsets hubby). Altogether, vocally one of the finest evenings at the Opera House for several seasons.

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