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Rossini: Otello / Fogliani

Album Summary

>Rossini, Gioachino : Otello, opera
Conductor Ensemble
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Notes & Reviews:

First staged in Naples in 1816, seventy years before Verdi's very different treatment of the same subject, Rossini's 'Otello', based on Berio di Salsa's play rather than that of Shakespeare, makes full use of no fewer than three lead tenors. In the 19th century the third act won particular praise for the 'Gondolier's Song (Nessun maggior dolore)' and for the 'Willow Song (Assisa a' pie d'un salice)', which features some of the composer's most passionate writing for soprano (Desdemona). The opera concludes with the dramatic and ironic revelation of Jago's villainy, the forgiveness offered to Otello and his final suicide. Verdi himself considered Rossini's 'Otello' a masterpiece.

"Pratt is every bit as fine as von Stade, the voice free, flexible and finely-schooled, her engagement with the role fairly complete, both in the high drama of Act 2 where the opera finally embraces tragedy and in the Willow Song, Prayer and death scene in the superb third act." -Gramophone Magazine

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Kursaal, Bad Wildbad, Germany (2008-07-12&2008-07-17&2008-).


Otello: The Rossini Option
Though probably best known today for his comic operas, Rossini alternated between those and more serious works. Not as famous as Verdi’s version, this Otello has much to offer, particularly to ‘bel canto’ fans. There’s music for no fewer than six tenors, including both the hero (Michael Spyres) and villain (a properly oily Giorgio Trucco). Spyres brings a warm sound and wide vocal range to the title role, and cannot be mistaken for any of the other guys. Jessica Pratt as his doomed wife has plenty of singing to do, but doesn’t get a proper solo till the last act. Filippo Adami’s Rodrigo is uneven: best when he throws off some brilliant high notes, but inconsistent in the florid passages. (In his second-act aria, listen for what has become more famous as part of the “Cat Duet.”) Some stage noises and applause might be counted as drawbacks to this live recording, but there’s also the nice sense of a real-time performance, with its interactions among the cast and musicians. Libretto at the Naxos website (in Italian only!), synopsis in the booklet.
Submitted on 10/10/11 by Jim D. 
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Works Details

>Rossini, Gioachino : Otello, opera
  • Conductor: Antonino Fogliani
  • Notes: Kursaal, Bad Wildbad, Germany (2008-07-12&2008-07-17&2008-)
  • Running Time: 40 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1816