Otello. Verdi. Munich

Nationaltheater in Munich. 16 July 2013.
We have seen an extraordinary streak of representations of opera and today, in some way, has been truncated.
Due to lack of practice or for other reasons, the fact is that this portrayal of Otello was largely disappointing. A stage production fast interest, a musical conduction routine and noisy, and a vocal cast, which confused issuing notes with singing by some of its protagonists.
We were lucky that Anja Harteros was Desdemona and her performance offset so much disappointment.
This Francesca Zambello production premiered at this theatre in the year 1999 for the debut at the Moor of Venice of José Cura, who was with Barbara Frittoli. I had the opportunity to see it 4 years ago. It wouldn’t harm to replace it by another as soon as the finances of the company make it possible.
The scenery of Alison Chitty offers a unique form of metal ramps scenario, which is suitable for the first Act, but then the thing starts to be strange, taking into account that the action has to be performed bellow and ramps turn out to not have much sense. The costumes, also of Allison Chitty, always in very clear tones and appealing, except Otello during the third Act, because he seemed the Ercilla porter than the Governor of Cyprus. Good lighting of Mimi Jordan Shrin. The action is brought to the second half of the 19th century, in a Cyprus that responds to the colonial era. The stage direction by Francesca Zambello is below what I’ve seen her on other occasions, particularly in the mass movement, that tends to be what thos registra better achieves. The story is well told and there are interesting details, such as the start of the second Act, in which Bianca, Cassio bride, appears in scene,  reproaching with gestures his attitude during the fight in the previous Act and abandoning him, which serves perfect introduction to the following intervention of Iago to convince Cassio to follow their game to recover Bianca. In general, the scenery goes well for outdoor scenes, while they do lose concentration at the more intimate passages, especially in the last act. The actors direction is very dissapointig, except for Desdemona.
As Sayed above, the conduction of Paolo Carignani has been disappointing. Far from which he offered the past day 8 in Il Trovatgore. There was many routine, few nuances and excess of noise, creating problems for the voices to come clearly to the room on more than one occasion. Emotion not emerged until the last act and it was thanks to an extraordinary Desdemona, with which Carigani did not have to do but to abide by her singing and so things worked much better. Bayerisches Staatorchester showed their great category, but the Proffesor won’t let us enjoy their sound, as we have done on other occasions. Powerful, tuned and fresh chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper, including a tuned Kinderchor in the second Act. Johan Botha has possibly the voice more suited to the character of Otello of today. His vocal power, its bright tone and good extension make that few reproaches can be made in this sense. Of course, Otello demands in addition to sing create a character and in these facets Johan Botha is short. The only moment of emotion provided by the South African was in his final aria «Niun mi tema». If the voice of Botha was attached to the edge of Gregory Kunde (my last Otello) it would result in a player of exception. Would also be exceptional to join the voice of Kunde Botha singing, obviously, with horrifying results. Johan Botha issued many notes bright and powerful, but singing is another thing and just did this with dropper.
The big winner of the night, the only great singer in the cast, was Anja Harteros, which gave us an exemplary Desdemona. In his big scene offered a beautiful voice, a pure and lofty quality, singing all together with some exceptional levels of emotion. Harteros leaves an indelible memory with her performances in Leonora and Desdemona. It is an exceptional soprano, which is at full power and full mastery of her instrument. For reasons that have little to do with her artistic quality, it is not easy to be able to enjoy her singing outside Germany. I assure all my friends not to leave see her, if they have the opportunity to do so. She is one of those singers that come out once in many years. Anja Harteros.
Another disappointment of the evening came from the performance of the baritone Claudio Sgura as Iago. This baritone is another of those who confuse issuing notes with singing. The character of Iago is very complicated and has many shades that offer in scene, apart from an important voice, which perhaps not so much in this character. I have had the opportunity to see him on several occasions previously, and I could not recognize but his powerful voice of beautiful timbre, but there the character of Iago is over. His lack of expressiveness and intention translates into a great monotony in his singing, which is unbearable. I remember seeing him in a performance of Francesco Foscari in Parma which triumphed based on singing and thrill. In terms of emotion he goes like the crab. Iago is very large and would do well to delve into the character or leave it for later. A louder than winding Iago is the polar opposite of what Shakespeare, Verdi and Boito could conceive for this character.
The presence of Pavol Breslik in Cassio was a luxury that only theaters like Munich can offer. Claudio Sgura and Pavol Breslik
The secondary characters met well. They were Monika Bohinec (Emilia), a bit tight and Tareq Nazmi (Ludovico), Francesco Petrozzi (Rodrigo), Goran Juric (Montano).
Once more the Nationaltheater put poster not tickets, although there was a plentiful supply of tickets in the vicinity of the theatre. The public was much more cold than usual in the first half of the opera, giving himself fully in the final greetings, where the big winner was Anja Hareros. Johan Botha was also cheered, but at another level. The pageant began 6 minutes late and had a total time of 2 hours and 57 minutes, including an intermission. The musical duration was 2 hours and 20 minutes. The final applause lasted 11 minutes and had a very special target.
The most expensive ticket costed 163 euros, also having locations in the patio of armchairs from 142 to 117 euros. In the upper floors prices descended from 39 to 91 euros.
José M. Irurzun
Traducción al infles por: María Garcia-Rosado