Falso Movimento

Teatro Olimpico

This performance group’s Otello is derived not from Shakespeare but from Giuseppe Verdi’s opera. More melodramatic than dramatic, it freely mixes genres and visual references ranging from the Renaissance to 19th-century romantic iconography to modern cinema. The lip-synced text is partly taken from the original libretto, by Arrigo Boito, and partly written by the performers themselves, but the word plays a minor, almost casual role in this piece; the music is the true protagonist. Verdi’s score has been reworked by Peter Gordon, who, using a Herbert von Karajan recording of the opera, superimposes suggestive saxophone passages and repeats, mixes, and elaborates on musical phrases. The atmosphere varies from dramatic intensity to a repetitive, jazzy mood, but the original score, modified though it is, is not denied; in fact, the debt owed to it is emphasized in a sort of homage.

The performance

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