On Monday, 11 June, India International Centre screened the recording of Giuseppe Verdi’s last tragic opera, Otello. This 1982 production is 138 minute long tragic tale of the Moor of Venice and is considered by many to be one of the greatest Italian operas of all times. Otello was adapted by Arrigo Boito, the librettist from the original play by Shakespeare. He has religiously stuck to the original omitting only certain factors and quite noticeably, Barbantio’s role.
In the piece, Otello is sung by the Russian tenor Vladimir Atlantov, Desdemona by Kiri te Kanawa and the sly Iago by leading Italian heroic baritone Piero Capppuccilli.
The orchestra consisted of 3 flutes (the third doubles as a piccolo), 2 oboes, 1 english horn, 2 clarinets, 1 bass clarinet, 4 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 cornets, 2 trumpets, 4 trombones, 1 harp, percussion (timpani, cymbals, bass drum, gong), strings (violin I and II, viola, cello, double bass). Offstage instruments included 6 trumpets, 4 trombones, organ, bagpipes, mandolins and guitars. This seven act opera was conducted by Zoltan Peshko and performed with orchestra and Chorus of Arena Di Verona.
In Otello, orchestra plays a major part in demonstrating the characters along with the scenes that are vividly brought alive with music.