Based on the Shakespearean tragedy Othello, Verdi’s Otello is masterfully adapted by Giuseppe Verdi and directed by Harry Kupfer, and is a solid performance among Opera Australia’s winter line-up.
Moorish General Otello promotes Cassio (James Egglestone) to Lieutenant over Iago (Claudio Sgura), which leads Iago on a path to revenge against both, catching the innocent Desdemona (played by Lianna Haroutouian until July 19) in his wake.
Haroutouian triumphs vocally on the stage, her voice soaring above that of others even in the full choruses. While O’Neill as Otello successfully conveys the storming drama Otello faces with vocal and acting synergy, however, the pair lacked chemistry during key scenes.
Standout of the performance was Sgura, chillingly portraying the dark, brooding villain of the piece with expertise.
Out of tune instruments were audible from the pit, which distracted from Verdi’s score and ultimately a visually lush and expansive set felt underutilised in later acts, requiring effort to suspend disbelief and maintain context. (LD)
Until Aug 2, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, $44-284, (02) 9250 7777, sydneyoperahouse.com