This week - Act II
The second act sees Iago unleash his evil plan. What qualities does the singer need to make Iago so convincing? What is it like to record these emotionally demanding scenes, without an audience to perform to? Need a refresher on the action in Act 2? Iago counsels Cassio to beg Desdemona to intercede for him with her husband, to secure his reinstatement. Iago, his plot underway, proclaims his satanic Credo. Otello’s suspicions rise when Desdemona appeals to him on Cassio’s behalf. Desdemona offers Otello a handkerchief, that he once gave her, when he complains about a headache, which he throws to the ground. Emilia, Iago’s wife and Desdemona’s maidservant, picks it up and Iago forcibly takes it from her as the women leave. Iago sets about inflaming Otello to a frenzy of jealousy by inventing a story of how Cassio had spoken of Desdemona in his dreams, and how he saw her handkerchief in Cassio’s hand. Otello is now convinced of his wife’s infidelity. The two men join in a vow to punish Cassio and Desdemona.
The studio recording of Otello - with Jonas Kaufmann and Antonio Pappano (appearing by kind permission of Warner Classics) conducting the Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale de Santa Cecilia - is available on Sony Classical