October 4, 1986
Italian soprano Daniela Dessi has canceled her appearances as Desdemona in Los Angeles Music Center Opera's production of Verdi's "Otello," which opens the company's inaugural season next week at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. According to John Howlett, director of public affairs at MCO, Dessi collapsed at the airport in Milan Friday morning and was taken to a local hospital. Howlett could provide no other details of her condition, nor would he speculate on a successor.
October 19, 1986
Regarding director Franco Zeffirelli's passionate defense of his most recent opus (Calendar Letters, Oct. 12): I am a musician. I also happen to love film. And I far from loved "Otello." In his review Sept. 19, music critic Martin Bernheimer justifiably cited many of the film's musical flaws. I should like to address myself to what I regard as some serious lapses of directorial taste that frequently reduced "Otello" to the level of grade-B cinema, or worse, to the obviousness of most TV movies: The regulation of singers' voices to an echo-chamber during flashbacks, to dispel any doubt that the accompanying scene was a memory.
July 2, 1994 |
In Shakespeare's "Othello," the women--well, Desdemona--don't make out very well. In the Orange County Crazies' new Saturday night show, "Orangethello," the women seem to be exacting some revenge. If this group--which is, after all, led by a woman (Cherie Kerr)--has been struggling for its own brand of gender equity, then the struggle is more or less over.
April 12, 1996 |
C. Bernard Jackson's "Iago," in LATC's Theatre 3, gives a radically revisionistic slant to Shakespeare's "Othello." A revival of the 1979 Inner City Cultural Center production, "Iago" could best be described as a "What If?" play. What if Iago were not a scheming dastard after all, but a much-maligned victim of racism and internecine politics? In Jackson's version, Iago (J.D.
February 7, 1987 |
When artistic directors resign in Germany, they really resign. Peter Zadek has just left his post as director of the Hamburg City Theatre with the recommendation that the theater might just as well "be turned into a brothel." Marl Heinrich of the Associated Press reports that Zadek left his post after only 18 months, declaring himself fed up with know-it-all reviewers and a know-nothing audience. Zadek opened with a hit, "Ghetto," but since then has had no luck with the Hamburg press and public.
January 31, 1996 |
The opera presented by the mighty Metropolitan on PBS tonight at 8 is Verdi's "Otello." The gentleman in the treacherous title role is very famous and, within his natural limitations, very good. But in this instance, the vehicle should have been called "Desdemona." It isn't that Renee Fleming, the wifely soprano in question, outclasses her vaunted partner, Placido Domingo. It's just that Fleming is virtually perfect in a part that could have been written with her specific gifts in mind.