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Richard Lawrence
Gramophone, April 2016


This misses being top choice only because it’s so hard to choose between Solti and Levine in productions by Elijah Moshinsky. Domingo is unbearably moving in both; perhaps Sergei Leiferkus just has the edge over James Morris, but it’s a near thing. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Andrew Stewart
Classic FM, July 2008

I'll never forget the intense energy of this famous Covent Garden Otello, the inspired momentum of Georg Solti's interpretation or the compelling nature of Elijah Moshinsky's acclaimed production. The 1992 staging's recording for the small screen, well below par by modern digital standards, inevitably diminishes its epic scale. It does, however, preserve the artistry and allure of a cast second to none. Domingo lives and breathes the persona of a mighty warrior broken on the rack of jealousy. His extraordinary otello may be of towering proportions, but it never overshadows mesmeric work from Leiferkus and Te Kanawa. A great performance.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2008

A dream team had been assembled at London’s Royal Opera House for this 1992 performance of Verdi’s Otello.

Placido Domingo, uninhibited in the use of his vast vocal power, was the commanding Otello; Kiri Te Kanawa a more sturdy Desdemona than the fragile female often portrayed, while Sergei Leiferkus’s Iago is totally convincing by avoiding those sneering gestures that are too often seen. In the pit was Georg Solti whipping the orchestra into a fury as the opening storm is unleashed, but later on can show some impatience in his choice of tempos. The production was, in the best use of the term, ‘traditional’ and came from Elijah Moshinsky, his set designer, Timothy O’Brian, creating a massive edifice that has to serve all of four acts, leaving the final bedroom scene working in an area that is too large. The minor characters were in the hands of the Royal Opera’s frequent faces, Ramon Remedios’s Rodrigo and Robin Leggate’s Cassio particularly effective. The opening act does seem to suffer some microphone problems, Otello’s first entrance lacking impact, and the left hand side of the stage more responsive to voices than the right, where they are rather lightweight. Throughout the acting is good, though it is Domingo who sets the standard, his picture of the Moor probably the most persuasive and complete of any we will ever see. And a very special word for the chorus who add greatly to the potency of the first act. The quality of the pictures is excellent and has multi-language subtitles that never obtrude and can be eliminated. Sadly the booklet tells us nothing of the occasion or of the artists involved. A few drawbacks, but my top recommendation of the opera on DVD.

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