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Subject: Re: Kaufmann's Otello
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 8 Aug 2017 10:15:13 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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The fundamental problem with OTELLO and OTHELLO has always
seemed to me to be the somewhat implausible attraction he has
for Desdemona.  What is the secret of Desdemona's yearning for
so innapropriate a lover?  And don't tell me there's no such thing
as impropriety when it comes to "love".

dtmk

On Tue, Aug 8, 2017 at 10:01 AM, A Katalin Mitchell <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Well…. thank you for that video – but Vickers is so scary to look at even
> in repose in this getup that I am not sure how far he has to go to be truly
> frightening, for starters.  He walks in completely calm and regal, and
> grabs his sword (by the blade???? How can he not slice his hand open?) to
> threaten D as she begins the plea for Cassio and he asks for the
> handkerchief.  Kaufmann’s Othello (I saw it live and on video, two
> performances), is obviously disturbed as he walks in, and can barely
> restrain his anguish, which increases every second, erupting at same time.
> I found his performance very moving instead of scary, of a slowly
> disintegrating soul.
>
> But I still find that the performance of Domingo and Freni, which I only
> ever saw in video, the most perfect of them all; I was in tears during this
> scene, they are so emotionally convincing and brilliant.
>
>
> On 8/8/17, 12:31 AM, "Discussion of opera and related issues on behalf of
> Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask] on behalf of
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>     Idia Legray wrote (in another thread):
>
>     "After all the hype about how superb the Moor role would be for
> Kaufmann, frankly, I was
>     disappointed in his interpretation.  It lacked a certain excitement
> and foreboding for me."
>
>     Saw Kaufmann in the ROH "Otello" yesterday and I would agree with that
> assessment.  I
>     thought it was splendid, vocally, but it was a very low-key
> interpretation of a very intense
>     role.  I don't mean scenery chewing.  Vickers, for example, the
> greatest Otello in my
>     experience, was very restrained through much of the opera.  But you
> always had the sense
>     of a volcano about to erupt, and when it did erupt - as at the end of
> Act II and in the Act III
>     confrontation with Desdemona - the effect was cataclysmic.  Certainly
> by the last act, one
>     should feel that Otello has lost it completely and has, in effect,
> become a homicidal
>     psychopath.  I did not get that feeling from Kaufmann.  Again, I think
> his singing and
>     phrasing were superb - as usual - but that animal excitement and
> feeling of danger was
>     missing.  Also, I have to admit that, as with the Met's recent
> production, I was put off by
>     the lack of any noticeable darkening makeup on Kaufmann.  He did not
> look any different
>     from his Werther at the Met.  Otello doesn't have to look like Ving
> Rhames, but he should
>     have a noticeably darker complexion than Desdemona, otherwise an
> important dramatic
>     element is compromised.
>
>     Check out Vickers' Otello here:
>
>     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjtKkulTLPw
>
>     This could be PSA for a spousal abuse center!  Vickers is crazy
> terrifying, and you really fear
>     for Scotto's Desdemona.  I didn't get this feeling when Kaufmann did
> the same scene.  He
>     didn't scare me.  And he should have.
>
>     (BTW, I can't imagine anyone except a PC-addled moron being offended
> by Vickers'
>     makeup.)
>
>     MDW
>
>
>
>
>
>
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