Otello

Title role in Verdi’s Otello
Glyndebourne Festival / London Philharmonic Orchestra / cond. Vladimir Jurowski / dir. Peter Hall

“David Rendall is one of perhaps six heroic tenors in the world up to this very demanding role.”
Anthony Holden, The Observer, July 2005

“David Rendall is Glyndebourne’s first choice to sing Otello. A fine one, too. The voice, strong and secure, is right on the nail from his difficult entry as he and his men return from defeating the Turks at sea. And he charts with powerful conviction the progress of his character’s dangerous, simmering jealousy, his wounded pride, his emotional blindness.”
Stephen Pettitt, Evening Standard, July 2005

Dresdner Musikfestspiele / MDR / cond. Oleg Caetani

“Both the male protagonists were astounding (David Rendall and Franz Grundheber), not only in full possession of their magnificent voices, but also masters of the stage and presenting very complex but understandable characters, intelligently shaped.”
Gerhard Bohm, DNN, June 2002

“We experienced a vigorous Otello in David Rendall, who made a deep impression as he covered the wide range of character from successful military leader through jealous tyrant to broken and soul-destroyed lover.”
Jens Daniel Schubert, Sachsische Zeitung, June 2002


Glyndebourne Festival / cond. Richard Fames / dir. Sir Peter Hall

“David Rendall’s Otello is of considerable stature. His opening lines make a grandiose impression, and he acts with a moving conviction. There is something feral about him. He moves with dignity and in the later acts conveys powerfully Otello’s bewildered pain and the violence it leads to. His finest moment is in the great Act Ill monologue, delivered slowly, torn from him but always sung, not gasped. He is hardly less noble in the final scene, again moving partly by virtue of its restraint.”
Michael Tanner, The Spectator, August 2001

“What I found most absorbing last weekend was the truthfulness of the acting performances Hall got from the remarkable trio of principals. This Otello is David Rendall’s finest hour, both vocally and histrionically. His lean-toned but burnished ltalianate tenor was overwhelming, and he understands the psychology of the role as completely as any Otello — Domingo included — that I have seen. He touches the heart in his almost childlike infatuation with Desdemona, is terrifying in his volcanic demand for the handkerchief in Act III, and brings tears to the eyes at his suicide.”
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, July 2001

“Rendall’s Otello is a fine piece of singing. He sounded magnificent, and he never seemed strained. His opening “Esultate!” was grandly delivered as the thrilling moment it should be and throughout he sustained the role with increasing pathos and musicality of tone, his final plea for one last kiss from the murdered Desdemona heart-rendingly phrased. His Otello is a plebeian, vulnerable figure, a man with greatness thrust upon him and so insecure that he is easy meat for lago.
Michael Kennedy, The Sunday Telegraph, July 2001

“David Rendall is probably giving the performance of his life as Otello. Time and again, his authority is cruelly undermined by his vulnerability. He really conveys that, not just physically but in his singing. Here’s an Otello who doesn’t live only for the big notes, who doesn’t fudge the difficulties — like the rapt ascents of the love duet, the final line “Venus is aglow”, delivered pianissimo for a change, in his most tender head voice. Together with Susan Chilcott, they make each phrase of that love duet so precious as to dramatically heighten the explicit brutality to come.”
Edward Seckerson, The Independent, July 2001

“As Otello, the tenor David Rendall brought a clarion voice and tormented volatility to his portrayal.”
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, July 2001

“David Rendall has surely done nothing better than this Moor. He yielded precious little vocally to Galuzin, with his ringingly ltalianate top and warmly coloured tone lower down, and he triumphed in the invectiveness of his handling of the text. The variety of tone colour and volume in the Monologues, indeed throughout, were spellbinding. And the growth of violence, the head-knocking gesture leading both to the near-rape of Desdemona at the end of their third-act duet, the backhander with which he floored her in public, and then total physical and mental collapse, all were quite terrifying.”
Rodney Milnes, The Times, July 2001

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