We welcome this review from Ionarts guest contributor Sonya Harway.
Elizabeth Futral, soprano
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Rossini, Otello, Bruce Ford, Elizabeth Futral, Philharmonia Orchestra, David Parry (2000)
Tim Page, A Story That Improves With the WCO's Otelloing (Washington Post, May 1)
Slightly revised 'Otello' (Washington Times, May 1)
Bravo to the orchestra, who even when they venture from the pit, are often overshadowed by the singers. I got a fright and then a smile out of seeing a dramatic hand gesture come close to knocking the bow out of concertmistress Eva Cappelletti’s hand. Antony Walker deserves praise for not only directing, but also as Artistic Director for choosing this important and infrequently performed work.
Although Berio di Salsi’s libretto disappointed many contemporary scholars, the opera itself was lauded and held in high regard until Verdi’s even more popular version bumped Rossini’s from the repertory 71 years later. There are some good recordings available, such as the Carreras-Stade recording, but based on the standing ovation on Sunday night, my first pick would be the Ford-Futral CD.
The Washington Concert Opera's 2007-2008 season will again feature two operas: Bellini's I Puritani (September 23, 2007) and another Rossini rarety, Bianca e Falliero (April 13, 2008), starring Vivica Genaux.