Vladimir Stoyanov to Replace Luca Salsi in Baden-Baden Festpielhaus’ “Otello”

By Logan Martell

It has been announced that Vladimir Stoyanov will be replacing Luca Salsi in the Baden-Baden Festpielhaus’ Easter Festival production of Verdi’s “Otello.”

The Bulgarian baritone will star as Iago in Robert Wilson’s new production, alongside Stuart Skelton in the title role, and Sonya Yoncheva as Desdemona. The production, which begins its run on April 13, will have its orchestration provided by the Berlin Philharmonic, under the baton of conductor Zubin Mehta.

Of his upcoming engagement as Iago, Stoyanov said: “I am very excited to make my return at the Festpielhaus Baden-Baden in this new production of ‘Otello.’ Iago is a role I’ve frequently sung around the world. I made my role debut at the Royal Opera of Stockholm and also sang it at theatres such as the New National Theatre in Tokyo, and most recently at the Teatro Filarmonico in Verona. It is an extremely complex role, one of the most antagonistic figures of all time and the absolute incarnation of a malignity that frightens, a weaver of nefarious plots that will bring Otello and Desdemona to death. Shakespeare’s ‘Otello” is a masterpiece of human emotions and interactions between the ancestral characters of man who, together with Verdi’s music, make this work an absolute masterpiece.

“Vocally it is a very difficult role. The range that the singer must have is very broad. It is necessary to have a lot of vocal flexibility, to know how to blend the colors of the voice, to give the right accents such as in the famous ‘Dream scene.’ Giuseppe Verdi writes in one of his letters: ‘Iago must sing like a priest.’ It takes a great technical control of the voice. I am extremely happy to work again with Maestro Zubin Mehta who wanted me for this new production of Otello in Baden Baden. I had the pleasure and great honor of being his Rigoletto in Florence, in 2016, and for me it was a wonderful and unforgettable experience. Making music with a musician of this caliber is incredibly satisfying and enjoyable.”

Among Stoyanov’s future engagements include Verdi roles such as the title role in “Rigoletto,” at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia as well as the Bregenz Festival; as Francesco Foscari in “I due Foscari” at the Verdi Festival in Parma; and as Giorgio Germont in “La Traviata” at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Italy.