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Subject: Re: Shakespeare and opera - Rossini's "Otello"
From: Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 22 Dec 2016 09:24:55 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (151 lines)


Rossini wrote the opera for Naples, where the company had several notable tenors and he took advantage of their voices. He rewrote the role of Iago for baritone a few years later, and the role was sung by several notable baritones.

As to any confusion, I suspect that Rossini wasn't too concerned since he was writing for live performance, where the audience can SEE WHO IS SINGING. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Discussion of opera and related issues [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Les Mitnick
Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2016 9:05 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Shakespeare and opera - Rossini's "Otello"

I really like Rossini's opera lot, and have a great admiration for it. MY only problem with it is that the use of tenors for all the leading roles can easily make one confused as to which character is singing. Why would Rossini write Iago for a tenor? Too many tenors! The music for Desdemona is sublime. 
Les/Chicago
----- Original Message -----

From: "Bob Rideout" <[log in to unmask]>
To: "OPERA-L" <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2016 6:49:41 AM
Subject: Re: Shakespeare and opera - Rossini's "Otello" 

The Rome Opera brought it to the Met in 1968 with Virginia Zeani and a boatload (literally) of tenors. It was a beautiful production and the opera showed some splendid music, especially for Desdemona. Fredericka von Stade made a beautiful recording of the role, and she has selections on a number of recital CDs. 
The Willow Scene is particularly effective. 

Bob 

On Wednesday, December 21, 2016, Don <[log in to unmask]> wrote: 

> Let's not forget the 1978 recording of Rossini's Otello with Jose 
> Carreras and von Stade. That was the first time I had heard the complete opera.
> Dond
> 
> On Wed, Dec 21, 2016 at 6:30 PM, Clarissa Cheer 
> <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote: 
> 
> > What I find interesting is the history of Rossini's Otello after it 
> > was first performed 200 years ago in 1816 at the theatre Fondo in 
> > Naples with singers Isabella Colbran and Nozzari. Rossini was in his 
> > prime and Otello proved to be one of the many popular Rossini's 
> > operas he created. Maria Malibran sang it everywhere, Italy, Paris, 
> > London even in New York during the 1820s-30s. Verdi must have seen 
> > it in Milan or other Italian houses
> as
> > it was played there countless times.(See Fantan's bibliografia dei
> libretti
> > d'opera Rossini). 
> > 
> > Verdi's Otello did not obliterate Rossini work, it seemed to have 
> > faded from the popular opera repertoire sometime before the entry of 
> > Verdi's masterpiece in 1887. Francis Toye wrote in his book long 
> > before the
> Rossini
> > 200 revival, that Otello would never be seen again. However, from 
> > time to time it is seen and revived. The presentation of the opera 
> > sung by Chris Merritt, and Rocky Blake, June Anderson at Pesaro in 
> > 1988 had a great success and started a revival of the work, in 
> > several countries,
> with
> > some of the same artists. I was lucky enough to enjoy the superb 
> > Nice, France performances and then in Chicago etc.
> > 
> > Must say I agree that Verdi's version is rather depressing, that is 
> > one
> of
> > the reasons I pick Rossini's vivid and exciting opera as my 
> > favourite. I
> do
> > love the play! Coming from a theatrical family, at 12 years old my 
> > Mother bought me a ticket to Othello shown by the Old Vic 
> > Shakespeare Co in
> > England- it was an unforgettable evening. 
> > 
> > As for Shakespeare operas. Verdi's Macbeth is thrilling. One of 
> > Verdi's great early works...I remember Elizabeth Connell and a great 
> > cast in
> Rome,
> > and then Grace Bumbry later in LA, not so great. Macbeth was one of
> Renato
> > Bruson's finest roles. 
> > 
> > Cheers,
> > 
> > Clarissa Lablache Cheer
> > 
> > > From: Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
> > > Reply-To: Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
> > > Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2016 21:59:33 -0500
> > > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > > Subject: Re: Shakespeare and opera
> > > 
> > > I love both Verdi's and Rossini's Otellos (the latter less of a
> downer),
> > > Berlioz's Beatrice et Benedict and Bellini's I Capuleti e i 
> > > Montecchi,
> > but my
> > > favorite has to be Verdi's Falstaff. 
> > > 
> > > I also find Das Liebesverbot fascinating, although I can't really 
> > > say I
> > think
> > > it's a very good opera. 
> > > 
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Discussion of opera and related issues 
> > > [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Vesna Danilovic
> > > Sent: Monday, December 19, 2016 9:38 PM
> > > To: [log in to unmask]
> > > Subject: Shakespeare and opera
> > > 
> > > Dear listers,
> > > 
> > > This year has seen numerous commemorations of 400 years after his
> death. 
> > > So, just before this milestone year expires, I thought to ask any
> > interested
> > > lister about their favorite opera with connection to Shakespeare. 
> > > Mine
> is
> > > probably Verdi¹s MACBETH, though perhaps his OTELLO is 
> > > artistically
> even
> > > closer to the original play. I also love Gounod¹s ROMEO ET 
> > > JULIETTE on
> > its own
> > > merits, but -and I could be wrong in this- its music escapes me as 
> > > an expression of a Shakesperean tragedy. It's still a wonderful 
> > > opera that
> > I love
> > > listening to, most fondly in the Met broadcast with Bjoerling and
> Sayao. 
> > > 
> > > It would be very much interesting if anyone else could share their 
> > > own choices.
> > > 
> > > Happy holidays to all,
> > > 
> > > Vesna
> > > 
-------

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