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Subject: Re: Shakespeare and opera - Rossini's "Otello"
From: David Shengold <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:David Shengold <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 22 Dec 2016 14:48:27 +0000

text/plain (23 lines)

Les wrote

"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 three tenors Rossini for whom wrote Otello, Iago and  Rodrigo (in this treatment the real romantic lover) -- Nozzari, David and Giuseppe Ciccimarra-- all must have sounded completely different, to judge from the numerous other roles he wrote for them. Ciccimarra was a 'baritenor" and incidentally went on to teach Tichatschek, the first Rienzi and Tannhaeuser

One internationally active Rossini tenor told me he can look at a score from the Naples period and always guess correctly for which of the three Rossini meant the role.
Rossini;s opera was also done in concerts in the late 1950s by the American Opera Society, with Thomas Hayward, Loren Driscoll, baritone Hugh Thompson as Iago,  Eileen Farrell and Martha Lipton.

Cheers- David Shengold

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