Jonas Kaufmann makes his debut in the title role in Keith Warner’s new production of Verdi’s opera. But does the production impress the critics? 


The Guardian: *** “Antonio Pappano drives the score hard, without attaining anything like the cogency he achieved in 2012, in the final revival of the previous production. The choral singing is electric throughout.”

The Independent: **** “Kaufmann traces Otello’s slow crucifixion and vertiginous decent into paranoia and suspicion with growing conviction, unleashing a darker deeper timbre. Almost too conflicted at the outset, his performance blooms gradually.”

City AM: ***** “Kaufmann is the great Otello for this generation of opera lovers”

WhatsOnStage: **** “Tenor Jonas Kaufmann makes his role debut as Otello and he impressed mightily, even though his floated head notes lacked their accustomed beauty.” **** “Apart from singing beautifully, Kaufmann gives a convincing portrayal of Otello’s descent from powerful, confident and loving into unsure and suspicious, finally veering into madness and vengeance.”

Evening Standard: **** “Keith Warner’s production of Verdi’s opera is thought-provoking and stylishly abstract.”

Bachtrack: **** “Warner’s direction is less certain. His choral blocking is effective – the opening storm scene is almost identical to Elijah Moshinsky’s prodution this one replaced – but relationships and interactions between characters are stilted, as yet, and do not always convince.”

The Stage: **** “Antonio Pappano once again showing his impeccable command of Verdian style in a reading with real dramatic sweep.”

The Telegraph: *** “The real disappointment was a lame, ugly and soporifically dark staging by Keith Warner that is no improvement on what it replaces.”

The Financial Times: “In the Royal Opera annals this will go down not as a great Otello, but certainly a rewarding one.”

MusicOMH: **** “Those seeking new insights or a ‘Regietheater’ style might feel disappointed, but the production’s relative simplicity is a strength since it does not merely showcase one outstanding individual’s performance but feels more like a company affair”

Culture Whisper: **** “impressive, visually striking, new production.”

Otello continues to be performed at the Royal Opera House until the 15th July. To book tickets visit:, See, Discount, Love, Theatre and UK



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