Loft Otello Rossini

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lennygoran
Posts: 11923
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Loft Otello Rossini

Post by lennygoran » Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:26 am

While I'd love to see a full production of rossini's Otello there are just too many drawbacks to attending Loft-benches rather than seats, problems with regard to the heat-people talk of having to keep their winter coats on--and it's not that convenient for people who live in NJ. Regards, Len

Otello // March 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27
$30.00
Rossini's Otello, March 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27
​Time: music at 8pm, doors open at 7pm
Location: LightSpace Studios 1115 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Enter on Thames Street
General Admission: $30
Bench seating only (no backs)
Directions: L train to Jefferson Street
Cast and Crew

2017 Season Members: March 20 is Members' Night. Enjoy an hour of free wine, beer, and a talk from one of the cast members starting at 6.
VIP Members, reserve your seats.
Members, tell us which night you're coming.
All Members must make their reservations by March 9

lennygoran
Posts: 11923
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: Loft Otello Rossini

Post by lennygoran » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:55 am

A follow up- this review with a different Desdemona! It would be so nice if NYCO could do this one! Regards, Len

Review: The Desdemona in This ‘Otello’ Spits Fire

By CORINNA da FONSECA-WOLLHEIM MARCH 17, 2017

Verdi’s Desdemona has always seemed to me a pious drip. In my personal pantheon of opera heroines who should have shown more grit before succumbing to their inevitable deaths, I have long reserved special contempt for her. Why is she so meek in the face of her husband Otello’s false accusations, and so quick to accept the honor killing he is clearly bent on?

So I admit I derived an inordinate amount of personal satisfaction on Thursday evening watching the fiery soprano Cecilia López portray a very different Desdemona. Eyes flashing, she roughly shoved Otello and all but spat her protestations of innocence in his face. When she recognized that his jealousy had turned murderous, she smacked her chest, Carmen-like, daring him to stab her.

Ms. Lopez wasn’t taking liberties with Verdi. Her passionate performance was the beating heart of LoftOpera’s new production of a different “Otello.” Written by Rossini and the librettist Francesco Maria Berio, this adaptation of Shakespeare’s play was first performed in 1816, 70 years before that of Verdi and his librettist Arrigo Boito.

The comparison to the Verdi is one reason Rossini’s “Otello” is so rarely performed. Berio departs from Shakespeare in sometimes drastic ways, resulting in a more diffuse plot. The character of Cassio is cut altogether, replaced by Rodrigo as the object of Desdemona’s suspected infidelity. Iago still pulls the strings, but has none of the dark charisma of Verdi’s villain. Otello, Rodrigo and Iago are all tenor roles — difficult ones, full of fast runs and ornaments — making the opera tough to cast.

But of the two composers it is Rossini who fleshes out his Desdemona more fully, creating a proud, red-blooded woman well equipped to defy social conventions and racial prejudice with her choice of the foreign-born Otello as partner. Ms. Lopez inhabited the part memorably, bringing both depth and agility to coloratura passages and malleable, multihued tone to lyrical moments like the heart-rending “Willow Song.”

I wish I had liked the rest of the show as much as I did Desdemona. But the production, directed by John de los Santos, felt threadbare, as did much of the orchestral playing led by Sean Kelly. (The stylish clarinet solos by Mike Dee were a notable exception.)

LoftOpera specializes in bringing opera to industrial spaces in Brooklyn. “Otello” was presented in the LightSpace Studios in Williamsburg, a high-ceilinged photo and film production house whose smooth walls emitted a penetrating odor of fresh plaster and paint and created harsh acoustics that in places sapped all warmth from the voices.

Mr. de los Santos updates the action to what seems to be the 1990s — which makes the overt political references to war with Turkey over Cyprus somewhat confusing.

It took me a while to warm to Bernard Holcomb who, as Otello, should have been the alpha male. But while there was an appealing sweetness and clarity to his tone, his runs initially sounded wooden and dry. In the course of the evening his voice gained vibrancy and intensity, matching his character’s descent into manipulated madness.

Rossini gives Rodrigo some of the most athletic passagework in “Otello,” and the technical difficulties were sometimes all too apparent in the performance of Thor Arbjornsson. In the more melodic passages he produced a lovely plangent sound and elegant phrasing, but in virtuosic showpieces like his Act 2 aria, ornaments often came out smudged and colorless.

The most convincing tenor was that of Blake Friedman as Iago, whose voice has a plummy fullness and dusky hue. His duet with Otello was taut and exciting, one of several instances in which Rossini experiments with ways to characterize different voices within a narrow range. With all its tenors, Rossini’s “Otello” results in inevitable moments of shoutiness, but it also aptly renders the idea of a crowded field of competitors all vying for the same narrow erotic and political territory.

The bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala held his ground as the sole deep voice, bringing a burly and resonant tone to the role of Desdemona’s father, Elmiro. The mezzo Toby Newman was a fresh-voiced and sympathetic Emilia, who seemed well aware of the violent forces threatening Desdemona but powerless to stop them.




https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/17/arts ... ic-reviews

lennygoran
Posts: 11923
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: Loft Otello Rossini

Post by lennygoran » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:08 am

I see this is at least available on/line right now--watched first 12 minutes of it-enough for me to determine this is now how I want to see this opera for the first time-no surtitles and too many people in business suits. Regards, Len :(

https://livestream.com/thenewschool/Lof ... /152098670

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