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Robert Cummings
Classical Net, April 2018

One aspect of this performance that isn’t controversial is the singing—it’s quite impressive straight down through the cast. Dorothea Röschmann makes a thoroughly convincing and sympathetic Desdemona. She is in splendid voice throughout and her dramatic skills are equally effective: notice the intensity and conviction she imparts to the music in Act IV’s Willow Song (Mia madre aveva una povera ancella) and the ensuing Ave Maria, piena di grazia. Try also the First Act Quando naravi l’esule tua vita, where she sings with such passion and beauty. In this same number you will also hear Cura deliver subtly nuanced and quite arresting singing of his own. They both turn in tension-filled and quite moving performances as well in Dio ti giocondi, o sposo, from the Third Act. Carlos Alvarez as Iago is totally convincing. He is an Iago whom you will love to hate and whose singing you will love to love: try his First Act Esultate! L’orgoglio musulmano which he sings with both subtlety and gusto.

The rest of the cast is fine and Christian Thielemann leads the proceedings with a fine grasp on Verdi’s style, drawing vital performances from the orchestra, chorus and even the children’s chorus. © 2018 Classical Net Read complete review

David Reynolds
American Record Guide, September 2017

VERDI, G.: Otello [Opera] (Sferisterio Opera Festival, 2016) (NTSC) DYN-37767
VERDI, G.: Otello [Opera] (Salzburg Easter Festival, 2016) (Blu-ray, HD) 740104

Both conductors are excellent and lead propulsive performances. The chorus and orchestra in Macerata are enthusiastic if rather rough-and-ready. …The Salzburg Festival chorus is more involved…

Picture and sound for both is excellent. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Hugo Shirley
Gramophone, August 2017

VERDI, G.: Otello [Opera] (Salzburg Easter Festival, 2016) (NTSC) 740008
VERDI, G.: Otello [Opera] (Salzburg Easter Festival, 2016) (Blu-ray, HD) 740104

At the head of the cast, José Cura’s Otello is in pretty good shape—he’s been singing the role for nearly two decades now—and his tenor can still deliver plenty of thrills. …Dorothea Röschmann, though never really sounding truly Italianate, at least does all she can to give Desdemona some fire: hers is a moving, unusually feisty account of the role. Benjamin Bernheim is an excellent Cassio, and Georg Zeppenfeld stands out for his resonant Lodovico.

The playing of the Staatskapelle Dresden oozes quality, and Christian Thielemann certainly offers an interpretation of imposing grandeur and sonic richness.

This is a glossy, high-quality Otello with some solid virtues. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, July 2017

José Cura gives a persuasive portrayal in the challenging role of Otello the red-blooded Moorish General. Although the subject of some press criticism I find Cura a compelling figure in one of the most significant roles in all opera for an acting singer.

In the role of Desdemona, Dorothea Röschmann demonstrates that there is much more to her than a Mozart specialist of renown. …Whilst her creamily voice may not be as flexible at the top these days she is able to generate passages of real emotional intensity. Making a considerable impression as the cigarette smoking Iago is Carlos Álvarez, the believably malevolent and dangerously conspiratorial ensign who is fervently plotting. …he maintains a weighty projection throughout often at the expense of subtlety. Bror Magnus Tødenes as the gentleman Roderigo does well displaying his steady bright tenor to considerable effect. As Cassio, Otello’s captain Benjamin Bernheim demonstrates his agreeable tenor which is ably projected. Christa Mayer playing Emilia, wife of Iago and Desdemona’s maid, does all that is asked of her, as does Georg Zeppenfeld steadfast in the role of Lodovico the top hatted ambassador.

Singing with expressive fervour, the choirs are in fine unified voice and the eighteen strong children’s choir too have been clearly well rehearsed. Under the baton of festival music director Christian Thielemann, things keep moving with assurance and his Staatskapelle Dresden play with all their usual level of thrilling commitment. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

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