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Interesting Otello premiere in Bucharest

Otello, program front page, Bucharest

MARIUS VLAD as Otello in Bucharest

Marius Vlad as Otello in Bucharest.


BUCHAREST: Otello by Giuseppe Verdi was premiered 6th. September in a new production at the Opera in Bucharest. Staged by Vera Nemirova , Conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson, and with Marius Vlad  in the titelrole, Iulia Isaev as Desdemona and Stefan Ignat as Iago. Cassio was beautiful sung by Christian Mogosan.

Review by Henning Høholt, Alexandru Constinescu and Maria Tache.  photos from the program: Henning Høholt

Otello is one of Verdis operas build on a history by William Shakespeare. Musically it is dramatically and very well, and as often with Verdi it is about wimen who has a difficult time. In this case Desdemona, with a jalouse husband (Otello) and Emilie (Mihaela Ispan) as the wife of Iago.

Nicoleta Ardelean as Desdemona has the most impressing voice in the cast, all the way beautiful, well formed long lines, a great pleasure.

Iulia Isaev beautiful as Desdemona in Otello at ONB. Photo; Alexandru Constinescu and Maria Tache

Both Marius Vlad in the titelrole, and Stefan Ignat as Iago are the right types in each of their roles, with good dramatic voices presenting their different types.

Otello and Desdemona, -Marius Vlad and Nicoleta Ardenian. Foto from programbook: Henning Høholt

However in the role as Otello, with Marius Vlad, who has the perfect sounding Otello voice, i mished some beauty on top of his very well sounding dramatic voice. And, for me it was in the same way with Stefan Ignat as Iago. But good types.

The Operaorchestra of Bucharest did a good job conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson, she had a good feeling for the many details, for me, some times a bit too slow. The operachoire was this eveings great hit, led by a big operacapacity Stelian Olariu, that was an extraordinary experience.

Problems in this production is that the scenography,  by Viorica Petrovici, which in the opening looks good, is not being changed at all. This could have been saved by a good light design, Daniel Klinger, unfortunately the light design is “only” being changed one time, in the end of the last act, when Desdemona is being killed by Othello, where the light is being focussed on these two persons. A good light design could have made the stage changing, the only details, which i enjoyed there was the wooden three which in the beginning was giving the thunderlight from its top, it functions well, and that it also was lighten up from the inside, some times. However the light design is not only for this kind of effects, it shall help to give the scenography and the all history the right moods. It didnt work well. 

Some details in the statistery is confusing for me. Why are soldiers pointing at the people on the square with guns. As far as I know there is not any problems with the people on the street.

Another confusing detail is, why are there waiters with glasses on stage, when the ambassador from Venezia is arriving, andthey are only giving out a few of the glasses. It is unlogical what they are doing there, and it dont look like it is a Russian tradition with bread and salt they are presenting.


From left: Iago and Otello: Stefan Ignat and Marius Vlad. Photo from program book: Henning Høholt

I suppose that eventually after the official welcoming of the ambassador, there could have been a reception, but this is half done, and only confusing the history.

However, to present a good operaproduction as a part of the whole Enescu festival is importent, it gives together with the ballet variations in the programming, and for me it was a successfull combination together with the two barokk opera concertante, Orfeo and Alessandro at Atheneum, that I enjoyed during my stay at the Enescu Festival 2013 in Bucharest.

Bucharest National Opera
“OTELLO” by Giuseppe Verdi

Conductor of the choir : STELIAN OLARIU
Assistant director : IRINA MACOVEI 

Marius Vlad (left) and Stefan Ignat in Otello. Photo: Alexandru Constinescu and Maria Tache

The soloists:

Otello - Marius Vlad

Iago - Ştefan Ignat

Cassio – Cristian Mogoşan

Roderigo - Andrei Lazăr

Ludovico - Mihnea Lamatic

Montano - Iustinian Zetea

Un araldo - Ionuţ Gavrilă

Desdemona - Iulia Isaev

Emilia - Mihaela Işpan

- – – – – -



Julia Isaev, Marius Vlad, Andrei Lazar in Otello. 1. Act. Photo: Alexandru Constinescu and Maria Tache

Otello in Bucharest. In the centre Julia Isaev as Desdemona and Marius Vlad as Otello. Photo: Alexandru Constinescu and Maria Tache










The Enescu Festival is going on until 28th September this year.


Please enjoy some of our Otello reviews from other stages:

With Kristian Benedikt in the titelrole in

Modena: http://www.kulturkompasset.com/2013/03/succes-for-kristian-benedikt-as-otello-in-modena/

With Kristian Benedikt in the titelrole, Otello in Munich: http://www.kulturkompasset.com/2013/04/kristian-benedikt-othello-in-munich/

Fabio Bardellis review from Otello in Pisa: http://www.kulturkompasset.com/2013/03/otello-in-pisa/

Our review fro Otello in Venezia in December: http://www.kulturkompasset.com/2012/12/otello-in-venezia/




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