Friday, July 18, 2014

Otello in Sydney with Simon O'Neill

Simon O'Neill as Otello  with Lianna Haroutounian as Desdemona.
Photograph: Branco Gaica/Opera Australia
On Wednesday I saw Otello at the Sydney Opera house with Simon O'Neill in the title role, Lianna Haroutounian as his Desdemona and Claudio Sgura as the dreadful Iago.

The singers were all in fine voice - their singing was just glorious and you would never have guessed that Lianna Haroutounian was a last minute stand in.

I am too much of a softie to really enjoy Otello because I just hate watching Otello being so deviously deceived by Iago. I winced and squirmed in my seat, which is a credit to the singers as they performed so compellingly I had no escape!

Apart from the excruciating story, the set in this production also bothered me. The whole performance took place on a steep staircase. As they sang and argued, made love and killed each other I was willing them not to trip and tumble right to the bottom of the stairs. None of them did, although it looked as if O'Neill had done himself damage in his final dying lunge. However he stood up and took his bows with a smile.

Guardian Review review (have a listen to the great clips in this article .... they'll lead you on to an evening of watching more and more.)
Portrait of Simon as Siegmund

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