Jonas Kaufmann's Debut As Verdi's Otello Now Available On DVD And Blu-ray From Sony Classical
On a sweltering night in June 2017, this was unquestionably the hottest ticket in town. Opera lovers thronged to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden to hear tenor Jonas Kaufmann, recently acclaimed by The Daily Telegraph as "the world's greatest tenor," make his eagerly anticipated role debut as Otello - Verdi's greatest and most demanding role for tenor voice.
As The New York Times wrote, "Mr. Kaufmann made his debut in the part, and he calmly, confidently sang it for the ages. His sound inescapably evokes memories of live performances and classic recordings by Vinay, Vickers and other masters; in a single night he joined their company." Sony Classical is pleased to release his landmark performance on DVD and Blu-ray.
The London Evening Standard hailed the production as "thought-provoking and stylishly abstract", with Keith Warner's taut direction, Bruno Poet's stark and effective lighting and Boris Kudli?ka's abstract, expressionistic stage designs, all combining to underpin the high-octane drama of Verdi's complex, psychological thriller. The audience was rapt as it watched Kaufmann's intense portrayal of the ill-fated Otello - "...he modulates effortlessly between the amorous and the unhinged, grippingly charting the character's psychological decline" (London Evening Standard).
Joining Jonas Kaufmann on stage were Italian baritone Marco Vratogna as Iago, who, as the Metro newspaper noted, "sings up a thrilling storm of hatred and malevolence," and Italian soprano Maria Agresta who sang with "a tender yet creamy intensity," (The Observer) in her deeply sensitive performance as Otello's tragic Desdemona. The entire production was led by lauded conductor Antonio Pappano. The Independent newspaper wrote "...As always, Pappano's contribution in the pit is a thing of wonder, with no detail too trifling to be given full weight in his masterful sweep of the whole."
This eagerly anticipated production matched the high expectations of audience and critics alike and will surely stand the test of time.
Otello JONAS KAUFMANN tenor
Desdemona MARIA AGRESTA soprano
Iago MARCO VRATOGNA baritone
Cassio FRÉDÉRIC ANTOUN tenor
Roderigo THOMAS ATKINS tenor
Emilia KAI RÜÜTEL mezzo-soprano
Montano SIMON SHIBAMBU bass
Lodovico IN SUNG SIM bass
Herald THOMAS BARNARD bass-baritone
Royal Opera Chorus
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Music: Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto: Arrigo Boito
Director: Keith Warner
Set Designer: Boris Kudli?ka
Costume Designer: Kaspar Glarner
Lighting Designer: Bruno Poet
Movement Director: Michael Barry
Fight Director: Ran Arthur Braun
Acts I & II - 1 hour 15 minutes
Acts III & IV - 1 hour 25 minutes