Otello – Metropolitan Opera – 21 September 2015

WordPress failed to upload my review so I lost it all. The now short version:

Yoncheva: excellent. Plush opulence, silky tone, redeeming her stature in my eyes. She obviously looks great in a dress but more, she sounds great. Willow Tree was haunting, moments of despair well drawn, acting strong. Fully justifying the accolades she is garnering. Worth seeing just for her.

Lučić: good. His knowing bow to the audience and semi shrug at the end of his ‘credo’ as if to say ‘there you have it. Make of me what you will’ was great. Vocally fine and unforced.

Antonenko: hesitant at first, but found his gear later. Vocally somewhat constricted, lacking bloom in the higher register. Notes on pitch but sounding rather small in places. A light-lying voice, where I find myself thinking of Domingo as the touchstone – heft, ring and stridency. Dramatically slightly stiff.

As a pair Yoncheva and Antonenko were loving and believable, despite sung lines of ecstatic eternal embraces not being sung while embracing.

Sets: the ever present Es Devlin. Transparent walls pushed by lackeys. One missed the magic of freely moving walls. During the finale of Act two we wait to hear the final ‘o vengeful God!’ from the pair, which came but not before the lackeys started pushing stuff around in the supposed to be thrilling gap before those notes. Video projection of storms, and oddly, of wispy wispiness in Act Four (no idea what that was supposed to be.)

Met Chorus: good.

Cassio: a very promising performance by Dimitri Pittas.

Production: good costumes, average direction, rather failing to stir the spirit or move one.

Orchestra/conducting: blaring horns, good shimmer when required from Nézet-Séguin’s band, but obviously not entrancing enough for the three of four people in Family Circle around me who decided the opening of Act Four would be a great time to check emails. Shame on you. Also, in a way, well done to the man who told the row of jabbering women behind me to ‘talk about it later’ during Act Two. In England a glare or a ‘shush!’. In America a ‘STFU’. Well done Annoyed Man.

Overall: 8/10.

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3 comments

    1. Should have clarified 🙂 (it was in the longer post…) My friend and I saw her in Traviata in London. Maybe it was an off night but she was having real trouble. Bit squally. First saw her in Faust where she came to my attention, and pleased to say last night was much better.

      Liked by 1 person

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