From the first bar of Otello last night at the Coliseum it was clear that we were in for an evening of great music making under the inspiring guidance of Edward Gardner. The ENO orchestra and chorus have delivered some spectacular performances under their music director in the last 12 months - great scores such as Peter Grimes and Benvenuto Cellini come to mind, and now Otello . It has been a rich period and he will be greatly missed - lucky (clever) Bergen to have him in succession to Andrew Litton.
In the cast first and foremost were the superb performances of Stewart Skelton and Jonathan Summers (above). In addition there was a notable Cassio from Alan Clayton and some splendid full blooded singing from the Desdemona Leah Crocetto. An as always at ENO these days there was strong casting down to the last little detail.
David Alden is unerring in my view - such an intelligent and musical director whose work at ENO has over the years given such lustre to the house.
I hate to mention my unease with this piece in English - but the adjustment was relatively easy with such fine performanes in all departments............funny thing, did not get the same feeling with the recent Traviata and Rigoletto. Maybe it is just the unique character of the word Bacio! Somehow "kiss" does not quite make the grade!