Otello, one of Verdi's late operas, is one of my favorite operas, filled with beautiful music and intense drama, and the opportunity to hear some great singing. The libretto closely follows Shakespeare's play. What a disappointment this event was.

Of the 3 leading performers, only Renee Flemming as Desdemona could both act and sing (although I think her voice is no longer ideal for Desdemona, she does use her voice intelligently, and she is a terrific actress). Johan Botha as Otello was not in good voice, and had missed several performances due to illness; further he has virtually no ability to act. When he finally killed himself, he looked like a beached whale on the stage. Falk Struckmann as Iago overacted throughout and his voice was undistinguished. The Met Orchestra led by Semyon Bychkov was boring. And I can assure the readers that it is really a challenge to make this gorgeous opera boring. The Met Opera should be ashamed of itself for this dreadful production.