Verdi: Otello

Opus Arte: OAR3102D

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Verdi: Otello


Opus Arte

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Release date:

31st March 2008




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Verdi: Otello

Plácido Domingo (Otello), Kiri Te Kanawa (Desdemona), Sergei Leiferkus (Iago), Robin Leggate (Cassio), Ramon Remedios (Rodrigo), Mark Beesley (Lodovico), Roderick Earle (Montano), Claire Powell (Emilia)

The Royal Opera & The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Georg Solti

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London on 23rd & 27th October 1992.

LENGTH: 145 Mins

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Gramophone Magazine

August 2008

“The great work and the great performance; and, crucially, both gain from the filming. …is deeply impressive, and moving, to see how completely Domingo lives his role Te Kanawa too shows herself alive to every suggestion of her music and words.”

BBC Music Magazine

June 2008


“Sergei Leiferkus's dark Russian tone… suits Iago down to the ground. Kiri Te Kanawa's limpid tone makes her a near-ideal Desdemona… Plácido Domingo… is noble and heroic.”

The Times

“‘Pure gold from the top team… Here was an evening to cherish, one to go straight into the memory in firmest indelible ink… The combination of Domingo and Solti promised gold and delivered every ounce expected.”

Gramophone Classical Music Guide


“At Covent Garden, Elijah Moshinsky's production insists heavily on its religious agenda: Christ crucified looms at the back, dominant as in the east window of a cathedral. In the film version (because the camera roams) it is more a suggestive presence, less a directional imposition. If the opening storm is prefigurative, the Byzantine Christ may have a valid place among the chaos of images that bewilders the eye in the first few minutes; and though initially it may seem that the film crew are finding it impossible to capture at once the detail and the overall picture of the complex stage action, the confusion makes its own point and of course resolves itself into reassuring single focus with Otello's entry. The boldness of pictorial imagination at work here can be appreciated by comparison with the conventional battery of stage lightning in Graham Vick's production at La Scala (filmed in 2001 and also with Domingo), where the chorus is simply a mass embodiment of terror and awe, unlike Moshinsky's where all are individuals with a task in hand and up against a real emergency.
We then look on, helpless, as order turns to chaos in the unfolding tragedy. Here again film probes the principal characters. Conventional operatic gestures and facial expressions will not do, and it is deeply impressive, and moving, to see how completely Domingo lives his role. Te Kanawa too shows herself alive to every suggestion of her music and words (it is utterly wrong to represent her here as bland or uncomprehending).
Leiferkus is a powerful embodiment of malign will, and, as with the others, his voice, sure in its bony-hard definition, is the perfect instrument of his character. As much again could now be written about Domingo's singing, and Te Kanawa's, and about Solti's conducting, but a video demands attention to the visual. Suffice to say that you can have the highest expectation and not be disappointed.”

Penguin Guide

2010 edition


“Moshinsky's traditional Covent Garden production with lavish costumes and sets makes an ideal DVD with an almost unmatchable cast of principals.. Placido Domingo was at his peak as Otello, powerful and heroic, while Dame Kiri te Kanawa as Desdemona sings ravishingly”

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