Verdi: Otello

COMPOSERS: Verdi
LABELS: Classics for Pleasure
WORKS: Otello
PERFORMER: Charles Craig, Rosalind Plowright, Neil Howlett, Bonaventura Bottone ENO Chorus & Orchestra/Mark Elder
CATALOGUE NO: CDCFPD 4736 DDD Reissue
Opera in the vernacular can serve a useful purpose in the theatre, but on disc Otello in English needs to be a performance out of the ordinary to compete with so many fine original-language versions with their bilingual libretto booklets. This Otello is worth hearing for Mark Elder’s forthright way with the score, but Charles Craig finds the title role something of a strain, and Neil Howlett’s Iago, though interestingly characterised, is vocally unimpressive. Rosalind Plowright is a warm-voiced Desdemona. Charles Osborne

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