Verdi: Otello (2-CD) – Jonas Kaufmann

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Verdi: Otello (2-CD) – Jonas Kaufmann

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Artists: Jonas Kaufmann, Federica Lombardi, Carlos Álvarez, Virginie Verrez, Liparit Avetisyan, Carlo Bosi, Riccardo Fassi, Fabrizio Beggi, Gian Paolo Fiocchi, Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecila
Conductor: Antonio Pappano
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Sony Classical
CD Release Date: June 12, 2020

Opera fans can now look forward to a fascinating listening experience with the greatest and most successful tenor of our time. After Jonas Kaufmann sang the role of Otello for the first time at the Royal Opera House in London in 2017, the audience and critics were full of praise. Since then he has often sung this role in acclaimed performances at major opera houses.

For Jonas Kaufmann, the role of Otello is one of the most fascinating: “These colors, this passion – a piece from the beginning to the end that makes enormous emotional and technical demands – but it’s just fantastic to sing that.” As in London, the musical direction is in the hands of Verdi-experienced conductor Antonio Pappano, who conducts the orchestra and choir of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Rome. Italian soprano Federica Lombardi made her role debut as Desdemona.

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Giuseppe Verdi’s four-act opera, Otello, based on Shakespeare’s Othello, is set in the late 15th century on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

Otello is the 25th title of the 26 operas, which were composed by Verdi. He was 74 years old when he wrote it (1884-1886).

The story adheres closely to the Bard’s play. Otello, an African Moor and general in the Venetian army returns home to a plot of deception created by his subordinate, Iago, which goes awry and leads Otello into a fit of rage resulting in his murder of Desdemoda, his beloved wife. Otello falls on his dagger in despair at what he has done in the final scene, which is an oft-studied subject in literature, opera and psychology.

Before she dies in Act 3, Desdemona sings two well-known arias, “Willow Song” and “Ave Maria.”

In the Met’s 2018/2019 season, modern architectural sets were used to create a contemporary feeling, appropriate for a story, which rings as true today as it did in the 15th century.

World premiere in Teatro alla Scala, Milan, February 5, 1887


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