Stephanie Sundine, Stage Director for the upcoming production of Verdi's Tour-de-force masterpiece 'Otello', opening this Saturday, March 3rd, offers some thoughts on the process she went through in approaching the complex and exciting challenge of directing an opera of this level of complexity drawing on both personal experience as a performer and voices from the past.
Having performed the role of Desdemona, and directed the opera in a previous production, I had already done a great deal of work on Otello, including a complete translation of the text and stage directions. I’ve listened to the recording with Del Monaco/Tebaldi/Protti recording, with von Karajan conducting.
In preparation for the Sarasota Opera production, I turned to an important source. Giuseppe Verdi’s publisher, Giulio Ricordi, wrote a detailed accounting of the premiere of the opera, with the consent and collaboration of the composer and librettist. Every act is described and illustrated in exhaustive detail. Victor DeRenzi and I are using this information as much as possible in our production.