Rossini: Otello – review

Sophisticated and expressive performance deserves to bring the composer’s under-sung work to the widest possible audience

Here is the “other” Otello – the 1816 opera by Rossini that was swept aside by Verdi’s 1887 version. It’s a sophisticated and expressive work, with no fewer than three tenors (Otello, Iago and Rodrigo) and some ravishing ensembles.

This DVD documents Bartoli’s Desdemona in an intelligent, modern-dress staging at Zurich in 2012, directed by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier and conducted by Muhai Tang. The Italian diva reminds us that, behind the virtuosic vocal lines, Rossini characterised his heroine with feeling, while John Osborn, Edgardo Rocha and Javier Camarena make a stylish trio of tenors.

The performance deserves to bring Rossini’s under-sung achievement to the widest possible audience.

Rossini

Otello

Cecilia Bartoli

(Decca)

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. All rights reserved. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

More on this topic

Suggestions below based on Gioacchino Rossini