You could say this live performance is a landmark, being the first telecast of an entire opera. And I have to say as a performance of such a superb opera it is simply brilliant. Fritz Busch gives a very passionate conducting job and is genuinely Italinate, and the orchestra and chorus are superb particularly in the Drinking song. Ramon Vinay is brilliant as Otello, he has a beautiful voice with a great top while maintaining its baritonal quality and his vocal acting has pathos and nobility to it. Domingo and Vickers I perhaps prefer when it comes to interpretations, but for diction and phrasing I give it to either Vinay or Lauri-Volpi and Del Monaco for power. Licia Albanese is a delicate and resplendent Desdemona, she is not my favourite singer in the role or one of my favourites of this particular time, but she has some truly ravishing moments here such as Otello's recognition of her and her response. Then there's Leonard Warren, one of my favourite ever baritones. Warren was especially admired in Verdi and his performance as Iago shows perfectly why, for it is a wonderful one with some of the best musicianship and beauty of tone of any Iago while being suitably conniving too especially in Iago's famous Credo. All in all, a brilliant live performance. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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