Most of us read Shakespeare plays at school. It was decades ago that I studied this dark story
exposing the depths of evil and destructiveness of jealously. To see it so brilliantly presented through exquisite and haunting music was both thrilling and draining. Rene Fleming always amazes and her irresistible portrayal of innocence and strength was balanced by fabulous central characters and a remarkable chorus and orchestra. Iago was so real and downright scary, that you forgot he was a character being 'played' by a fine singer and excellent actor.
Staging was bold and dramatic, BUT, was change only for the sake of change. The goal seemed to be:
'Be different at any cost'. And costly it was! This interpretation showed a lack of respect and sensitivity to Verdi. Decker's work is more about himself than the composer -- so the changes (such as the "all male" chorus) struck us as unintelligent and pointless. We are great fans of the Met, but believe this interpretation is sadly lacking. Closing one's eyes and listening to the music was the best approach.
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