Set Design by Gerhard Hruby
Verdi’s opera Othello in a sympathetic studio recording from the early years of television. The camera’s roving eye lends Otto Schenk’s production an intimacy which inspires a vocal and dramatic tour de force from Wolfgang Windgassen and Sena Jurinac in the roles of the tragic lovers Othello and Desdemona. Musical direction is in the hands of the great Verdi conductor Argeo Quadri. For unlike with other opera films, the producers in Vienna did not use playback but recorded each scene live. A further drawback was the fact that the television studios were too small to accommodate a full-size opera orchestra. The musicians and conductor were situated in an acoustically appropriate but geographically separate hall, linked to the film studio only by cables and monitors. This arrangement called for utmost concentration from all parties. The scenes were recorded live; editing technology as we know it today did not exist, so the work involved filming lengthy passages and repeating them as necessary.
The very particular value of this video, now available to all fans of opera for the first time on DVD, is that it documents in convincing fashion the great German Verdi tradition – a tradition in which Othello has always maintained a leading position.
Sound Format: PCM Mono
Picture Format: 4:3
DVD Format: DVD 9, NTSC
Subtitle Languages: DE, IT, GB, FR, ES, JP
Running Time: 134 mins
Wolfgang Windgassen (Otello), Sena Jurinac (Desdemona), Norman Mittelmann (Iago), Margarita Lilowa (Emilia), William Blankenship (Cassio), Adolf Dallapozza (Rodrigo), Walter Kreppel (Lodovico), Willy Ferenz (Montano), Leo Heppe (Herald)
Sinfonieorchester Des Süddeutschen Rundfunks, Stuttgart Chor Der Wiener Staatsoper & Wiener Sängerknaben, Argeo Quadri (conductor) & Otto Schenk (director)