Ailyn Pérez returns to Staatsoper Hamburg to star as Desdemona in Verdi’s final tragic masterpiece, Otello, on March 12 & 15. Calixto Bieito’s grim and menace-filled production tells the tale of a man driven to a state of hopelessness, ultimately highlighting human nature. This dark and nihilistic vision comes together with a terrific team, including set design by Susanne Gschwender, costumes by Ingo Krügler, and lighting by Michael Bauer.
Ms. Pérez shares the stage with a fantastic cast, including José Cura as the title role, Andrzej Dobber as Iago, Dovlet Nurgeldiyev as Cassio, Peter Galliard as Rodrigo, Tigran Martirossian as Lodovico, Hubert Kowalczyk as Montano, Michael Reder as Un Araldo, and Cristina Damian as Emilia. Matteo Beltrami conducts the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra.
Ailyn made her role and house debut as Desdemona at the Houston Grand Opera in 2014. Classical Voice North America had much to love about her performance, raving:
“The Chicago-born Pérez commands a winning stage manner, a full mid-range, smooth legato, and steadiness in all registers. Her soprano has enough power for Desdemona’s passionate denials of Otello’s accusations of infidelity in the “Dio ti giocondi” duet, and she easily dispatched the arching fortissimo phrases in the massive ensemble that caps the third act…she delivered the heroine’s valedictory “Willow Song” with tender introspection and a nicely floated A-flat to end the “Ave Maria.”
*From March 13 to April 30, 2020, due to the coronavirus, all performances in all venues were canceled due to an official order at the Hamburg State Opera. This also applies to the concerts of the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra in the Elbphilharmonie.
Photo credit: Lynn Lane / Houston Grand Opera