Otello (G. Verdi) 1930. Jose Cura, Barbara Frittoli and Lado Ataneli.
Act 1 The conductor was Philippe Auguin. From the first note of Otello I was disappointed. I blame the conductor. The musical dynamics was missing. All emotions and situations on the stage was conducted alike. The orchestra was loud and quiet, loud and quiet without any musical reason. The chorus suffered and the principals suffered too. Otello's "Esultate!" came to me as a three-parted voice of Cura, it was not together. I missed a greater scene-presence when Lado Ataneli sang, he sang well, but lacked the zeal of Ruggero Raimondi. The love duet was wonderfully sung and acted by Cura & Frittoli. Because of the slow tempi when BF sang Amen in "Amen risponda" she had trouble getting her full voice in specifically in the "A---men". The act ended with the couple on the beach, with the pier and and the red full moon behind them
Act 2. Jago's Credo was wonderfully sung by Lado Ataneli, but the menace that Ruggero Raimondi had was not there, I missed that. The beautiful quartet ended act 2, but it had couple of inaccuracies in timing, or rather almost inaccuracies. (forgot: that after the quartet followed "Tu, indietro!", and narrating the "dream" that he says Cassio had, and of course, "Si pel ciel marmoreo giuro")
First real intermission between act 2 & 3.
Act 3. The action in on the stairs of the castle. It was all truly great. For me the only thing is that I found that Otello was falling down too many times for me. But the singing and acting of Jose Cura was a first class act. BRAVO, CURA!
Act 4. Barbara Frittoli is a great Desdemona. The idea of seeing the wind blow in the curtains (we could actually see that there were hands moving the white curtains) was rather stupid, I find. It was not necessary at the beginning of first act and not even when Emilia sang "E il vento!" (It's the wind) was it necessary, the audience is not stupid. Then Otello, Jose Cura, came. The tension is high, and they are just great, Cura & Frittoli. But when Emilia cries Murder so very few comes, just the key players, and before Cura sings "Niun mi tema" they are gone, only the dead Desdemona and Otello is left on stage. "Niun mi tema" - "Nobody be afraid", but there is nobody there!? And when Otello sing "Un bacio!" and the music reminiscence of the love duet in act 1, the stage darkens, and we see the pier and the full moon of act 1. Cute, but we are not stupid. The Music tells it all much better.
After the opera a lot of JCx is waiting for Cura to come backstage, Lado comes first, then it is finally Cura. And when the crowd is satisfied. Ten JCx ends the day in the restaurant Opera with a drink and some salad.
At 0100 in bed.