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Subject: Re: Shakespeare and opera - Rossini's "Otello"
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Thu, 22 Dec 2016 16:29:32 -0500
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Years ago, Will Crutchfield did a fascinating matinee broadcast intermission talk (which I 
taped) comparing Rossini's and Verdi's Otellos, and demonstrating with musical examples just 
how much Verdi's opera was inspired by Rossini's.  Crutchfield pointed out that Verdi's famous 
statement, while composing "Otello," about "wrestling with a giant," probably referred to 
Rossini's earlier opera, which Verdi venerated, and not to Shakespeare's original play, as is 
usually supposed.

Other than Boris Goldovsky, I don't think any matinee broadcast commentator did more 
insightful and informative analyses of operas than Crutchfield.  Alas, Gelb obviously regards 
such talks as too far over the heads of today's broadcast listeners, because we no longer have 
them.  The sad thing is, Gelb may be right in his assessment.  

MDW

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