My great friend and colleague, Stephen Costello made a very prestigious showing in Salzburg under the exacting baton of Riccardo Muti. A perfect Cassio, the voice young, and full of spirit. Congratulations to him on so wonderful a success.
The young Costello with Marina Poplavskaya…..
and here below his colleagues Marina Poplavskaya, and Muti specially chosen Otello, Alesanders Antoneko.
As is painfully evident, there isn’t much on stage to help the actors, to say it is sparse would be kind. No bed to be killed on, she settles -I guess- for a cold stone floor in the castle with a candle. “La spada” stuck in the floor like some King Arthur’s forgotten excalibur, it must signify Otello’s strength and is cast aside at the end for “Otello……fu.”
The glory of Otello that was. Oh well.
It would be impossible to resist placing here a few clips of Otello. These are quite thrilling.
I include a this marvelous clip of a truly legendary Otello conducted by Von Karajan with Ramon Vinay. The orchestra mirrors Otello’s grandeur, as only Von Karajan could do- so, so rich..
I foray to Berstein for another example of great singing in the hands of a great maestro from Vinay and Martha Moedl, the ending of the Liebestod is a triumph and exactly what I think Wagner wanted, with her mind and heart already crossed over in heaven to be with Tristan. A little piece of miracle, that is so very difficult a transition.
For fun, and a true feeling for the size and grandeur of the old metropolitan, look at that final tableau with the vision from the singers onstage looking out into the house. Amazing feeling. A house that Caruso and Ponselle and all the greats sang in. Why would they tear it down? I imagine it is for the same reason the Yankee’s are destroying their history. Money. For shame. Enjoy this living landmark no more.
And then this little “sacher” torte of a treat as the desert. The opening was on the Radio Live from Salzburg; this is from the house not the radio, so enjoy this little clip of the Costello magic from Austria. This photo shows the Maestro accepting rehearsal applause and Stephen is right there behind him.
Click on it to start the player. You jaded folks, get past yourselves and remember how it felt to begin a life in service to music, the joy and the terrors, and the glory.