13th May - 04th Jun 2023

Verdi’s Otello at LA Opera

“James Conlon, had the orchestra erupt as though a tornado of tremendous force had suddenly blown into the hall.” Los Angeles Times

“Conlon enforced generally more broadly-paced tempos than he usually does in Verdi. He could, of course, ram home the mighty Act I storm with the red-blooded gusto that he summons forth in early Verdi, yet he used the slower pacing elsewhere to expose, savor and stretch out the details in Verdi’s more sophisticated late-period orchestrations. He made especially expressive, nuanced work of less-flashy passages like the quiet introduction to Act III and Desdemona’s prayer in Act IV. The Los Angeles Opera Orchestra played splendidly for Conlon and the cast, as they habitually do.” Musical America

“Conductor James Conlon gave a rendition of Otello that was true to the composer’s intention rather than putting any kind of egocentric stamp on the proceedings. He was an attentive and commanding accompanist, never overpowering the singers, but also providing the sturm und drang in the orchestral and choral sections.” Stage and Cinema

The curtain rises. James Conlon’s baton is at the ready. The full chorus of Cypriots lifted by the magnificent LA Opera orchestra holds forth in celebration of Otello’s victory over the Ottoman Turks and a raging sea. It is a rousing opening to a magnificent three hours of music.” — Culture Vulture


a vibrant and emotionally charged performance.” — LA Party


Under the masterful direction of conductor, James Conlon, the orchestra flawlessly brought Verdi’s score to life, capturing the emotional intensity of the music and seamlessly blending with the vocal performances on stage.” — Indulge


“To the rescue came James Conlon who swept up Verdi’s entirety between stage and pit with his accustomed dramatic force and lyric finesse. (And thank you, maestro, for illuminating here a number of melodic motifs that figure in the composer’s next and last opera, ‘Falstaff.’)” — LA Tempo


“Everything was aligned. James Conlon and the orchestra delivered a rendition that ranged from a truly apocalyptic opening to the profoundest intimacy of tragic loss at the close. The orchestra caught perfectly the incandescent flickering of flames, the palpable sensation of crawling worms at the end of Iago’s Credo, and, with Jeremy Frank’s superbly trained chorus, their accompaniment of the climatic Act III concertato disturbingly expressed the uncanny mix of public acclaim and existential anxiety that had gripped Cyprus. Throughout, it was clear how Verdi’s intense shorter melodies increased the agonizing impact of the drama rather than diluted it and allowed us to feel every psychological shift within the characters.” — Opera News

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