by Giuseppe Verdi
In Verdi's masterful adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy, a great warrior discovers the one weapon against which he has no defense—his own jealousy.
South African tenor Johan Botha, “endowed with a bright, ringing sound and enough power to project effortlessly even over a full-strength orchestra” (San Francisco Chronicle), sings the title role. Bulgarian soprano Zvetelina Vassileva in her portrayal of Desdemona, the faithful wife who finds facts are no match for manufactured suspicion, “sings with flawless, rich Italianate sound, and graceful phrasing” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Italian baritone Marco Vratogna gives “an arrestingly dark and charismatic” portrait of the villain Iago, with singing that’s ”beautifully controlled and dramatically on point” (San Francisco Chronicle).
Music Director Nicola Luisotti “seems to have been born to conduct Otello. Through the storms, waves of sound, orchestra and chorus joining in raging passages, he maintains flawless momentum and exemplary balance” (San Francisco Examiner).
"Red-Hot Otello!” –San Francisco Examiner
“Viva Verdi! Via Luisotti!” –San Francisco Classical Voice
“With Verdi’s impassioned, gloriously melodic and rhythmically exciting music, the great opera received royal treatment in the War Memorial.” –San Francisco Examiner