with the BBC Philharmonic
Saturday 16 April 2011, 7.30pm
The Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3WS
part of the BBC Philharmonic 2010-11 Season series
Gianandrea Noseda conductor
Clifton Forbis Otello
Barbara Frittoli Desdemona
Lado Ataneli lago
Alessandro Liberatore Cassio
Julian Close Lodovico
John Pierce Roderigo
Matthew Hargreaves Montano / Araldo
Madeleine Shaw Emilia
London Symphony Chorus
Preview at 6.30pm In his final Bridgewater Hall concert as Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, Gianandrea Noseda talks to the orchestra's General Manager, Richard Wigley.
One of the hottest tickets of this season is bound to be this, Gianandrea Noseda's final appearance as Chief Conductor. And make no mistake: Verdi is very close to his heart. ‘He was the best of a typical Italian. Very severe with himself, a great worker a great heart, not an easy man, but a real genius.' And nowhere are those qualities more evident than in Otello, the work with which Verdi was persuaded out of retirement by his publisher, coaxed also to return to Shakespeare, despite the fact that his first foray - Macbeth - had hardly been a resounding success. This was different. He finally finished the work at the end of 1886, and premiered at La Scala the following February. The reception was unequivocal, with the composer taking 20 curtain calls and being mobbed by fans until the early hours of the following moving. Quite a result, even by the heady standards of the 19th century.
Otello is the work of a composer at the top of his game. Orchestra, chorus and soloists are all fully integrated into the drama, the explosive opening propelling the listener straight in to the turbulent waters of Shakespeare's tragedy (intensified by Boito's masterstroke of omitting the First Act of the play, considerably tautening the drama). Verdi doesn't let up: he has his audience by the scruff of the neck and forces them to live every moment of the tragedy, be it the storm, the drinking song, the passionate love duet or Otello's final, broken outpouring. It's such a complete drama that a full staging would seem almost superfluous.
How to get there
- Metrolink tram passengers should alight at St Peter’s Square. Discounted Metrolink vouchers are available to purchase from the Box Office or online when you buy your concert tickets. The discounted fare is £3.00 adult and £1.50 child; vouchers are valid for unlimited travel from any Metrolink stop after 9.30am.
- The nearest bus stops for major routes into the city centre are St Peter’s Square, Portland Street or Deansgate.
- The nearest rail stations are Deansgate and Oxford Road.
- If travelling by car, please allow plenty of time for your journey. For satellite navigation, the Hall’s postcode is M2 3WS. The nearest car parks are Park Avenue, NCP Manchester Central (formerly G-Mex), NCP Great Northern or NCP Oxford Street. Manchester Central car park is linked directly to The Bridgewater Hall by an underpass beneath Lower Mosley Street.
- The Bridgewater Hall welcomes deaf and disabled patrons. If you have any specific access requirements please ask the Box Office on 0161 907 9000.