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Plácido Domingo

Friday, July 21, 2017


parterre box

July 6

Iris, hence away

parterre boxEndlessly extricating her from existing contracts then negotiating new ones must make being Sonya Yoncheva’s manager the hardest job in the music business. The biggest recent switcheroo (but not the latest) means she will perform her first-ever Tosca at the opening of the Met’s new production New Year’s Eve. For those curious how she might fare in that iconic role “Trove Thursday” presents the Bulgarian soprano in an opera that premiered just a year before Puccini’s “shabby little shocker”: Mascagni’s Iris. I first heard Yoncheva a decade ago when she was performing at Alice Tully Hall as part of the third edition of “Le Jardin des Voix,” a biennial program for young singers created by William Christie’s Les Arts Florissants. I don’t recall her standing out among the ten singers that evening but by the next year she was debuting at the Glyndebourne Festival in the propitious role of Fortuna in L’Incoronazione di Poppea. For the next few years her repertoire included a lot of 17th and 18th century opera—Vénus is Rameau’s Dardanus and Serpina and Agata in Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona and Il Flaminio, and eventually Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare. Winning the 2010 edition of Placido Domingo’s “Operalia” meant that she would soon have the good fortune to sing the title role in Monteverdi’s final opera . I heard her again the year of the “Operalia” win as Dido in a LAF@BAM staging of Purcell’s opera in which her decidedly un-HIP portrayal—richly sung and throbbing with emotion—contrasted strikingly with her more restrained colleagues. Yet she could be effective in those early operas as a chunk from Sacchini’s best-known work Œdipe à Colone illustrates. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQ7R29K9KJo Her “destiny” to replace other singers began auspiciously in 2012 when she seized all four roles in Les Contes d’Hoffmann from Natalie Dessay at a gala Paris concert conducted by Marc Minkowski. Next Aleksandra Kurzak’s pregnancy occasioned her Met debut as Gilda in 2013 ahead of a previously scheduled first appearance as Musetta. Also at the Met she sang her first staged Mimi and an acclaimed Violetta, both times substituting for a soprano who had withdrawn or—in Marina Poplavskaya’s case—crashed and burned. For those heroic rescues Yoncheva was awarded opening night of the 2015-16 season and her first Desdemona in the new Otello proved a grand success . Inevitably the Met soon found itself on the bad end of all this soprano juggling when it last fall released its Mimi to accommodate her most high-profile substitution yet: stepping in at Covent Garden for Anna Netrebko who had decided she really didn’t like Norma after all. Despite the scoffing of pre-premiere skeptics Yoncheva (who had earlier subbed there for Netrebko as Marguerite in Faust) received mostly laudatory reviews. Now however the shoe seems to have migrated to the other foot: last year she avoided a prestigious series of Alcinas with Philippe Jarrousky, and 2017 has brought even more cancelations. She dropped out of Eugene Onegin in Paris declaring the role no longer suited her and just this month she withdrew from Traviata during Munich’s summer festival. As Baden-Baden saw her save its Nozze di Figaro (and the subsequent DG recording) several years ago when Diana Damrau fell out as the Countess, it must now soldier on without her Vitellia in Clemenza di Tito which premieres tonight surprisingly starring Rolando Villazon in the title role. Marina Rebeka replaces her for the two concerts and presumably the CD. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the conductor of both Nozze and Clemenza, was to have conducted Yoncheva’s first Tosca with his Philadelphia Orchestra next May (the orchestra’s website still claims it will be her role debut) but Andris Nelsons (the previously scheduled Tosca’s husband) has that honor… at least for now. But before that New Year’s Eve premiere she sings her first Elisabeth in Don Carlos in a starry Krzysztof Warlikowski production in Paris conducted by Philippe Jordan alongside Elina Garanca, Jonas Kaufmann, Ludovic Tézier and Ildar Abdrazakov. And after Tosca come two other new operas—Luisa Miller at the Met and La Scala’s first Il Pirata since Maria Callas performed it there 60 years ago. Whew—I’m already exhausted! A very odd opera with some glorious moments, Iris has only occasionally been mounted–for passionate Italian divas like Clara Petrella, Magda Olivero, and Daniela Dessì. But it did have a rare, memorable revival just last summer at Bard Summerscape. After the Norma was announced, I frankly expected Yoncheva to withdraw from this Iris concert in Montpellier to give her time to absorb that difficult Bellini role, but she did indeed appear…conducted by her husband Domingo Hindoyan who makes his Met debut next season leading L’Elisir d’Amore. If all goes according to the schedule of the moment, the Met’s 2017-2018 season will see Yoncheva starring in an unprecedented three out of ten HD transmissions: Tosca, La Bohème and Luisa Miller. Mascagni: Iris Le Corum Opera, Montpellier 26 July 2016 Broadcast Sonya Yoncheva — Iris Andrea Carè — Osaka Gabriele Viviani — Kyoto Nikolay Didenko — Il Cieco Chœur Opéra national Montpellie Chœur de la Radio Lettone Orchestre national Montpellier Domingo Hindoyan — conductor Iris can be downloaded by clicking on the icon of a square with an arrow pointing downward on the audio player above and the resulting mp3 file will appear in your download directory. In addition, more than 80 “Trove Thursday” podcasts are available from iTunes —for free, or via any RSS reader .

Iron Tongue of Midnight

July 10

Return of the King

Received from the Met; notes in square brackets by me: James Levine will conduct the Met’s new production of Puccini’s Tosca next season, replacing Andris Nelsons, who has withdrawn. [Possibly predictable after Kristine Opalais, his wife, left the production.]Mr. Levine, who now holds the title of Music Director Emeritus, has a long history of conducting Tosca at the Met, including his very first Met performance in June 1971, when he led a cast of Grace Bumbry as Tosca and Franco Corelli as Cavaradossi. He conducted performances of Tosca with Bumbry, Plácido Domingo, and Tito Gobbi in the Met’s 1971-72 season, and more recently, Levine conducted the premiere of Luc Bondy's staging of the opera in September 2009, which the new production will replace.In addition to leading the new David McVicar production of Tosca, Levine will conduct performances of Die Zauberflöte, Il Trovatore, Luisa Miller, and Verdi’s Requiem during the upcoming 2017-18 Met season.The new staging of Tosca opens on December 31, starring Sonya Yoncheva as Tosca, Vittorio Grigolo as Cavaradossi, and Bryn Terfel as Scarpia. TheJanuary 27 matinee will be transmitted live as part of the Met’s Live in HD series, which reaches more than 2,000 movie theaters in 73 countries around the world. For further information, including casting by date, please visit www.metopera.org. [Sir Bryn is the only original major-cast member left: Jonas Kaufmann was replaced because he couldn't commit to the rehearsal period and full run; Opalais...withdrew....Nelsons withdrew.]




Royal Opera House

June 22

Drawing on our history: how sketches bring The Royal Opera’s past to life

Detail from Triumphal dance. Elektra. Page 27 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections ROH Collections works to preserve the history of the Royal Opera House by collecting and storing items that document the life of the building. Many of our precious items come from generous donations, and in December 2016 we received a remarkable offer from an artist with a long and unusual history with the Royal Opera House. Painter Alan Halliday worked front of house in the 1970s, while a student at the nearby Courtauld Institute of Art . In Halliday’s own words, the experience ‘enabled me to see night after night some of the greatest singers, dancers and productions the Royal Opera House has ever presented – Nureyev , Fonteyn , Boris Christoff , Geraint Evans , Domingo , Pavarotti , Sibley and Dowell …’. He also gained ‘a detailed, first-hand knowledge of the Royal Opera House and how it worked’. In 1979, now working as a professional artist, Halliday returned to Covent Garden and made drawings of members of The Royal Ballet from the standing area at the back of the Stalls Circle. On seeing his portfolio, the ROH’s General Director John Tooley and The Royal Ballet’s Founder Choreographer Frederick Ashton invited Halliday to draw at general rehearsals (the last rehearsal before opening night). Halliday went on to sketch both The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet for the next 25 years. Sir Georg Solti. Page 1 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 2 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 3 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 4 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 5 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Chrysothemis. Page 6 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 7 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra in despair. Page 8 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Klytemnästra. Page 9 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 10 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Klytemnästra. Page 11 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Chrysothemis. Page 12 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Klytemnästra. Page 13 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Chrysothemis. Page 14 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Orest ist tot. Page 15 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Klytemnästra. Page 16 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Was willst du, fremder Mensch? Page 17 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Orest. Page 18 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 19 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Du wirst es tun? Page 20 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Robert Tear as Aegisthus. Page 21 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Agamemnon hört dich! Elektra. Page 22 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 23 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Lust über Lust. Elektra. Page 24 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 25 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Triumphal dance. Elektra. Page 26 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Triumphal dance. Elektra. Page 27 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections The sketchbook donated to ROH Collections contains sketches made in 1990 at the general rehearsal of Götz Friedrich ’s new production of Richard Strauss ’s opera Elektra . The sketches were made during the rehearsal and run chronologically through the performance. It was offered to ROH Collections on behalf of Halliday by Stephen Camburn of the Camburn Fine Art Gallery in the south of France, which specializes in Halliday’s paintings. The sketchbook begins with a portrait of conductor Georg Solti , arms outstretched. We then move to the performers on stage: Eva Marton as the suffering, furious Elektra; Nadine Secunde as her beautiful sister Chrysothemis; Robert Hale as their brother Orest, thought to be long lost; Marjana Lipovšek as their sickly mother Klytemnästra and Robert Tear as her lover Aegisth. Above some of the images Halliday supplies text that ties the drawing to a specific line from the opera. In ‘Orest ist tot!’ (Orest is dead) the despairing Elektra clasps her hand to her mouth; and in ‘Was willst du, fremder Mensch?’ (What do you want, stranger?) the returned Orest, unrecognized by his sisters, is half submerged in darkness.The sketchbook closes with powerful images of Elektra’s final dance to her death. Was willst du, fremder Mensch? Page 17 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections The sketchbook is a beautiful item in its own right. But it also makes a valuable addition to the ROH archive, adding detail and a unique perspective to our records of this production of Elektra. Find out more about the work of ROH Collections.

Royal Opera House

June 20

10 of opera’s greatest tenor roles

Juan Diego Flórez in La fille du régiment © Bill Cooper Whether cast as heroic warriors, ardent lovers, romantic poets or revolutionary outsiders, tenors are the undisputed kings of opera. We look at a few of the greatest – and most challenging – tenor roles: Idomeneo – Mozart ’s Idomeneo Idomeneo is a rare example of a tenor role with no love interest. However, Mozart more than makes up for it by giving the eponymous King of Crete one of the greatest virtuoso arias in the tenor repertory, 'Fuor del mar', and through his moving musical representation of Idomeneo's struggle to reconcile paternal love and religious duty. Arnold – Rossini ’s Guillaume Tell Arnold famously led to the birth of the ‘modern tenor’ , when his first interpreter, Gilbert Duprez , sang the high C in the Act IV cabaletta ‘Amis, amis’ in full voice rather than the customary falsetto. From the flamboyance of this stirring cabaletta to the lyricism of Arnold’s Act II duet with his beloved Mathilde and his mournful Act IV aria ‘Asile héréditaire’, there are plenty of vocal delights for any tenor bold enough to take on the challenge. Arturo – Bellini ’s I puritani Luciano Pavarotti described the role of the heroic monarchist Arturo, caught between love and political duty during England’s Civil War, as ‘pure tightrope walking’. Particularly demanding episodes include the Act I aria ‘A te, o cara’ and the Act III ensemble ‘Credeasi misera’, in which the courageous Arturo has to sing some of the highest notes ever written for tenor. Aeneas (Enée) – Berlioz ’s Les Troyens Stamina and versatility are the key skills for interpreters of Berlioz’s Trojan hero. Aeneas bursts onto the stage in Act I with high, declamatory music – but the role also calls for a singer capable of delicate lyricism, particularly in the sublime Act IV duet with Dido, ‘Nuit d’ivresse’. Keeping back enough energy for Act V’s heroic and despairing aria ‘Inutile regrets’, with its huge vocal range, is also crucial. Siegfried – Wagner ’s Der Ring des Nibelungen Wagner’s Siegfried is arguably the hardest role in the dramatic tenor repertory. Episodes such as the Forging Song require immense vocal power, easy top notes and boundless energy. But it’s not all about decibels: the singer also has to convince as the tender, sympathetic lover of Act III of Siegfried and of Götterdämmerung ’s death scene. Most importantly, he needs the stamina to keep going throughout two five-hour operas and still sound fresh at the end! Otello – Verdi ’s Otello Otello is perhaps Verdi’s most challenging tenor role. It requires a wide vocal range, and the singer needs to project over a powerful orchestra. Otello also presents a host of dramatic challenges: his interpreter must convince as Act I’s heroic commander, and as the troubled, ultimately broken man of the later acts – and remain sympathetic despite his appalling actions. Gherman – Tchaikovsky ’s The Queen of Spades The role of Gherman not only requires a singer of great stamina – he’s rarely offstage – but also one with the acting skills to convey the character’s mental instability and obsessiveness, while making us sympathize with him in his love for Liza and his loneliness. The rewards for the tenor are great, though: Plácido Domingo described Gherman as ‘dramatically one of the most interesting characters I have ever played’. Rodolfo – Puccini ’s La bohème Rodolfo is a character that many singers find it easy to empathize with: his enthusiasm for life, youthful romantic passion and fun-loving, humorous streak. The role also contains much glorious music, including ‘Che gelida manina’, one of opera’s most beautiful lyric tenor arias. No wonder that great tenors including Enrico Caruso , José Carreras and Pavarotti have listed Rodolfo among their favourite roles. The Emperor – Strauss ’s Die Frau ohne Schatten Strauss never gave tenors an easy time of it, and the Emperor outdoes even the role of Bacchus from Ariadne auf Naxos in its vocal difficulty. He makes his first appearance with a heroic aria set fiendishly high in the voice, and further challenges await in Act II when he sings a 12-minute monologue of almost unbearable intensity. Fortunately, the music is as consistently glorious as it is difficult! Peter Grimes – Britten ’s Peter Grimes Peter Grimes’s ambivalent nature makes him one of opera’s most dramatically interesting roles. Is he a hero or a villain? A murderer or a visionary? And how much should we sympathize with him? Jon Vickers saw him as a Christ-like figure, Anthony Rolfe-Johnson as ‘a dangerous, violent, quixotic and very valuable person for whom things go wrong’. But whoever Grimes is, there’s no doubting his wonderful music, including the Act I aria ‘Now the Great Bear and Pleiades’. Otello runs 21 June–15 July 2017. Tickets are still available. The production will be broadcast live to cinemas around the world on 28 June 2017. Find your nearest cinema. The production is generously supported by Rolex and is given with generous philanthropic support from Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet, Mrs Susan A. Olde OBE, Alfiya and Timur Kuanyshev, Lord and Lady Laidlaw, Mr and Mrs Baha Bassatne, John G. Turner and Jerry G. Fischer, Ian and Helen Andrews, Mercedes T. Bass, Maggie Copus, Martin and Jane Houston, Mrs Trevor Swete, Beth Madison, John McGinn and Cary Davis, the Otello Production Syndicate, The American Friends of Covent Garden, The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund and an anonymous donor.



parterre box

June 19

From Hell

Once upon a time, when the Met was in flux and New York City Opera was flourishing across the plaza, maestra Eve Queler founded the Opera Orchestra of New York which specialized in one-night-only concerts of three or four rarities each year at Carnegie Hall. In March 1973, OONY’s second season featured Francesca da Rimini starring Raina Kabaivanska, Plácido Domingo and Matteo Manuguerra. By the mid-2000s the company began to struggle and cutback its season to one opera. Despite a brief resurgence, the company, which presented over 90 operas on 57th Street, has virtually disappeared. Its most recent outing was Parasina d’Este over a year ago at Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Its Web site has not since been updated. Among its accomplishments were many American premieres, including Edgar, Nerone, and Libuse. It also imported international stars for their New York debuts and through a young artists program fostered the careers of the likes of Renée Fleming, Vivica Genaux, and Deborah Voigt. Riccardo Zandonai’s best-known opera (of four) hadn’t been heard in New York since the Met gave it 11 times two years after the opera’s 1914 premiere at the Teatro Reggio, with Frances Alda, Giovanni Martinelli, and Pasquale Amato in every performance. 66 years later, a lavish new production was mounted for Renata Scotto, Domingo, and Cornell MacNeil, notably telecast on 7 April 1984 and available on DVD. Given 26 times in two seasons, it got lost again until a 2013 revival with Eva-Maria Westbroek, Marcello Giordani, and Mark Delavan. Aside from the Met telecast, it has been commercially recorded exactly twice: in 1950 with Maria Caiglia, and in 2013 by Theater Freiburg. A pirate with Magda Olivero (who also recorded excerpts for Decca in 1969) and Mario Del Monaco is quite juicy. Based on a true story immortalized by Dante Alighieri in the Divina Commedia, Francesca provided the inspiration for no less than 27 operas between 1823 and 1914, mostly by forgotten composers (Salvatore Papparlado?) but including Saverio Mercadante, Ambroise Thomas, and Sergei Rachmaninoff, whose treatments occasionally get dusted off. It’s more likely that concertgoers and record collectors know it as a symphonic poem by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Royal Opera House

June 13

Verdi's Otello musical highlight: Desdemona’s Willow Song and Ave Maria

Maria Agresta as Desdemona and Jonas Kaufmann as Otello in rehearsal for Otello, The Royal Opera © 2017 ROH. Photograph by Catherine Ashmore The Willow Song and Ave Maria are connected arias sung by Desdemona, the heroine of Verdi ’s 1887 opera Otello , based on Shakespeare ’s play Othello . They are her only solo numbers in the opera, and testify to her goodness and her continuing love for her husband Otello, despite his despicable treatment of her. Where does it take place in the opera? The Willow Song and Ave Maria take place at the start of the final act of Otello. Desdemona sings the Willow Song – which she learnt as a girl – as she prepares for bed, occasionally breaking off to issue instructions to her maid Emilia, or to meditate on her own sad circumstances. She is overcome with sudden fear, and bids Emilia an emotional farewell. After Emilia has left, Desdemona prays to the Virgin Mary, then falls asleep. She will later be woken by Otello who, maddened by jealousy, murders her. What do the lyrics mean? The Willow Song describes how a girl deserted by her lover sang so sweetly that the birds gathered to hear her, and wept so bitterly that the very stones were moved to pity. The song’s title comes from the refrain: ‘Il salce funebre sarà la mia ghirlanda’ (the funereal willow will be my garland). Desdemona breaks off from her song three times: to tell Emilia that Otello will soon arrive, to take off her ring, and, agitatedly, to ask if someone is knocking at the door. Her Ave Maria begins with the words of the traditional Catholic prayer , then evolves into a personal appeal to the Virgin Mary to protect and help all people: the powerful as well as the persecuted. What makes the music so memorable? The opening of Act IV powerfully evokes melancholy. The Willow Song is remarkable for its intimate mood: its lyrical, at times almost improvisatory, vocal line, and delicate orchestration, in which woodwind instruments are prominent. Verdi deftly illustrates images from the song’s text, including a busy string figuration to depict the swirling stream by which the girl weeps, and flute flurries for the birds that fly to her side. Desdemona’s two passionate outbursts at the end of the song hint at how stoically she has been controlling her grief. The ensuing Ave Maria movingly depicts how Desdemona finds consolation in prayer. Its shimmering orchestration, beautifully simple melody and ethereal coda – with Desdemona soaring to a pianissimo high note – poignantly portray innocence and trust in a beneficent higher power: a welcome contrast to the mood of bitterness and sorrow the cruel Iago has created by poisoning Otello’s mind against Desdemona. Otello’s other musical highlights The devil often gets the best tunes – so it’s no surprise that Iago has some terrific music, including the jocular Act I drinking song ‘Inaffia l’ugola!’ and the chillingly malevolent Act II ‘Credo’. Verdi movingly charts Otello’s mental disintegration, from the heroism of his Act I entry ‘Esultate!’ to the anguished, fragmentary music of his Act III solo ‘Dio! mi potevi scagliar’, and moves us to pity with his heartrending final soliloquy ‘Niun mi tema’. Memorable ensembles include Iago and Otello’s thrilling Act II duet ‘Sì, pel ciel’. And there is plenty of wonderful choral music, including the serene Act II chorus sung by Cypriots and their children in praise of Desdemona, and the mighty Act III concertato as the chorus and all the principal singers react to Otello’s public attack on his wife. Classic recordings Plácido Domingo , an iconic Otello, made several recordings of the opera, of which the 1978 version under James Levine also features the superb Iago of Sherrill Milnes and Renata Scotto ’s radiant Desdemona. Domingo’s 1994 recording , conducted by Myung-Whun Chung , includes Sergei Leiferkus as a deliciously sinister Iago and Cheryl Studer as an impassioned Desdemona. Other fine recordings include Georg Solti ’s from 1977 , with Margaret Price ’s vocal beauty and Carlo Cossutta ’s heroic stamina ideal for Desdemona and Otello; and the 1960 recording conducted by Italian maestro Tullio Serafin , with Jon Vickers a passionate Otello and the great Tito Gobbi a jocularly macabre Iago. Among the multiple filmed offerings are the Metropolitan Opera’s 1996 recording with Domingo, Renée Fleming and James Morris and The Royal Opera’s 1992 recording with Solti, Domingo, Kiri Te Kanawa and Leiferkus. Zeffirelli ’s dramatic film of the opera with Domingo is also well worth a watch – if you can cope with the absence of the Willow Song! Further listening Verdi’s other two Shakespeare operas are the next logical step: his Macbeth is full of theatrical intensity and energy, while his last opera Falstaff is one of the most hilarious and touching operatic comedies. Those who enjoy Verdi’s combination of quick-moving drama and wonderful melodies will find much to enjoy in his successor Puccini ’s operas – particularly La bohème , Tosca and Madama Butterfly . Otello’s dramatic intensity and beautiful orchestration also has much in common with Wagner ’s music dramas, such as Tristan und Isolde , Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Parsifal . And for Shakespeare fans there’s a variety of other Shakespearean operas to explore, including Britten ’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream , Reimann ’s Lear and Adès ’s The Tempest . Otello runs 21 June–15 July 2017. Tickets are still available. The production is generously supported by Rolex and is given with generous philanthropic support from Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet, Mrs Susan A. Olde OBE, Alfiya and Timur Kuanyshev, Lord and Lady Laidlaw, Mr and Mrs Baha Bassatne, John G. Turner and Jerry G. Fischer, Ian and Helen Andrews, Mercedes T. Bass, Maggie Copus, Martin and Jane Houston, Mrs Trevor Swete, Beth Madison, John McGinn and Cary Davis, the Otello Production Syndicate, The American Friends of Covent Garden, The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund and an anonymous donor.

Plácido Domingo

Plácido Domingo (21 January 1941), is a Spanish tenor and conductor known for his versatile and strong voice, possessing a ringing and dramatic tone throughout its range. In March 2008, he debuted in his 128th opera role, giving Domingo more roles than any other tenor.One of The Three Tenors, he has also taken on conducting opera and concert performances, as well as serving as the General Director of the Washington National Opera in Washington, D.C. and the Los Angeles Opera in California. His contract in Los Angeles has been extended through the 2012-13 season, but the Washington, D.C. will end with the 2010–2011 season.



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