“A triumph” (ABC), “gripping” (Die Presse), a production “of the highest order” (Corriere della sera) and of “incredible quality” (La Vanguardia) – With Zubin Mehta at the head of the orchestra of Valencia’s Palau de les Arts “Reina Sofía”, and three superb soloists – Gregory Kunde, Maria Agresta and Carlos Álvarez – forming the lead trio of protagonists, this Otello is practically destined to leave its mark as one of the most memorable productions of this work.
In an elegant, simple stage set dominated by a large disc that can be raised and lowered to suggest closeness or distance among the protagonists, director Davide Livermore focuses on the inner conflicts gnawing at the hearts of Otello (Kunde), Desdemona (Agresta) and Iago (Álvarez). A judicious and effective use of large-screen projections and uncluttered costumes round off Livermore’s direction.
Livermore’s Otello is “exalted” by Kunde’s singing, wrote Vienna’s leading daily Die Presse. Kunde successfully interpreted both Verdi’s and Rossini’s Otello in one year, perhaps the first tenor ever to do so. While Álvarez “abounds in diabolical cynicism”, Agresta sings with “heartfelt cantabilità” (Die Presse). Under the direction of Maestro Zubin Mehta, the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana has truly become one of the leading European opera orchestras.