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Verdi: Otello [Blu-ray]

6 customer reviews

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(Mar 30, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Aleksandrs Antonenko, Marina Poplavskaya, and Carlos Alvarez star in this production of the Verdi opera with Riccardo Muti conducting the Vienna Philharmonic.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Aleksandrs Anotnenko, Marina Poplavskaya, Carlos Alvarez, Barbara Di Castri, Stephen Costello
  • Directors: Riccardo Muti, Stephen Langridge, Thomas Lang
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (DTS-HD 5.1), Italian (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Italian, English, Spanish, French, German
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: C Major Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 2010
  • Run Time: 163 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0033II5EY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,987 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By J. Smith on June 14, 2010
Verified Purchase
In my view this is an exceptional performance of Otello, one that ranks with the best of those currently available on video disc. Along with Riccardo Muti's masterful leadership in the pit and the quality of playing from the members of the Vienna Philharmonic, there is wonderful singing by the three principles: Aleksandrs Antonenko (Otello), Marina Poplavskaya (Desdemona), and Carlos Alvarez (Iago). All three of these stars have beautiful voices which they use intelligently and with appropriate dramatic effect for this production.

Marina Poplavskaya easily takes her place with those lyric sopranos able to float beautiful pianissimos. However, the ease with which both Antonenko and Alvarez comfortably handle piano and pianissimo passages is both an unexpected bonus and quite beautiful to hear. Oh, they can certainly produce thrilling, ringing high notes when appropriate (check out the "Si pel Ciel" duet between Otello and Iago!), but when the score markings call for softer singing we are treated to something truly special.

For example, in Iago's Second Act aria, "Era la notte," Alvarez's pianissimo delivery evokes a degree of menace that's quite chilling. And the duet between Otello and Desdemona that brings Act One to a close is gorgeously sung and ends, not on competing forte high notes, but on softly sung high notes that allow their voices to blend with the believable tenderness of young lovers.

One hopes that Mr. Antonenko will be careful in his choice of roles as he builds his future repertoire so that he can preserve not only his heroic, ringing tenor voice, but also his ability to sing such lovely pianissimo notes when the music and the story-line call for it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 18, 2012
This is a very exciting performance of Otello and is exactly what you would expect with Muti as the conductor. Otello is high-voltage Verdi and all the cast plus orchestra fully realise this vision. Not only is the singing of consistently high standard - so is the acting, so essential with opera generally and especially in these days of revealing photography.

The cast is of a uniformly high calibre. Aleksandra Antonenko is a good acting singer and in this performance he does not disappoint. Carlos Alverez makes a suitably devious counterpart as Jago (Iago) and Marina Poplavskaya is a credible Desdemona. The supporting roles are all strong and the overall performance carries considerable conviction.

The staging is minimalist and this will either succeed in concentrating the mind on the drama or not. This will be a very personal reaction and is therefore beyond the brief of this review. For me personally, it worked, largely as a result of the excellence of the singers in carrying out the dramatic requirements of their roles in addition to the purely vocal considerations.

The orchestra is given full reign and this led some newspaper reviewers attending the original performances at the Festival to comment about the balance which gave the orchestra such prominence relative to the singers. It is this aspect of balance that has drawn the most adverse reviewer comment. However, as a now retired orchestral player, I would like to stress that I find the sound to be superb and faithfully representative of the expected 'live' balances. It accurately reflects the sound world that I would expect from late Verdi which gives the orchestra far more prominence than that found in his early or middle period works.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ultrarunner on July 7, 2011
Verified Purchase
During the last 20 years of Verdi's life, Arrigo Boito, poet and composer himself, was to become a close friend. Their working relationship is one of the most remarkable in the History of opera. Boito was the Librettist in 1880 who helped Verdi revise Simon Boccanegra. Then came the two Shakespearian operas Otello and Falstaff, reckoned to be the twin glories of Italian opera.

This live performance of Otello was part of the 2008 Salzburg Festival. Riccardo Muti,is at his vigorous best,conducting the Vienna Philharmoniker.Partly traditional and modern staging. A screen against the wall shows the sea and various activities. The small square stage set in the center of the Huge stage, is used for some of the action. Surrounded by what looks like castle battlements. It is minamalist in its approach. The Costumes are of the period in which Otello is set. Aleksandrs Antonenko, a young dramatic tenor is fine, but no Domingo as yet, but that will come in the future. Desdemona is Marina Poplavskaya is a star in the making. I have the Don Carlo conducted by Pappano,conducting the Royal opera House orchestra. Marina is Elizabeth of Valois. That is why I obtained this Otello. The Traditionalist will love the staging of that opera. Jago is Carlos Alvarez being subtly evil. The rest of the cast are good. It is a blessing to have Otello and Desdemonia looking so youthful as the composer would have wanted.

Rest assured with this opera, the traditional stage merchants will not have a nervous breakdown if they watch this production. No gnashing of teeth and tearing of sack cloth, or mention of Euro trash. What ever that means. Something negative I suspect. I am fortunate that I like both kinds of staging, so I do not rant and rave when modern staging is even mentioned.
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Verdi: Otello [Blu-ray]
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