Fun Otello Facts

Everyone loves trivia, especially during performance intermissions. We at ctclassicalmagazine, the CT Lyric Opera and the CT Virtuosi Orchestra would like to enhance your opera-going experience by sharing some Otello trivia that you can share with other audience members when you attend any one of the four upcoming gala performances of this fabulous opera that these two companies are presenting in May at several venues throughout the state! Did you know that……………………………..

a) Luciano Pavarotti recorded Verdi’s Otello and Jose Carreras recorded Rossini’s lighter version, but neither tenor sang either role onstage!

b) In 1962, when the reigning Otello of the day Mario del Monaco came to the (now defunct) Conn. Opera in Hartford to sing this role, believe it or not, a very young and unknown PLACIDO DOMINGO appeared in the cast in the secondary role of Cassio!

c) Two of the greatest Desdemonas of our lifetime, Renata Tebaldi and Kiri Te Kanawa, both made their debuts at the Met in this part — Tebaldi’s was planned, but Te Kanawa was literally a last minute replacement! It was 1955 for the former, 1974 for the latter.

d)In Puccini’s Tosca, the evil Baron Scarpia makes a reference to the equally evil Iago and his handkerchief, and plays on Tosca’s jealousy in the same manner, only with a fan!

Our staff sincerely hopes that ten years from now we will have some more Otello trivia about tenor John Tsotsoros, soprano Jurate Svedaite and baritone Gary Simpson after their upcoming performances for the CTLyric Opera/CT Virtuosi Orchestra! Don’t miss them!……………………………………………………

 

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