The structure was poor. It was as though they had translated everything from the play that appeared to be visually useful, and then found themselves one act short. The result was an additional act at the beginning showing the marriage of Othello and Desdemona, which left us all wondering when the familiar story would start.
The score was stylistically all over the place. The theory is that a composed score by one individual should prevent this. Elliot Goldenthal disproved that one.
The lack of coherence continued with the designs. Some good, relatively conventional, costumes and some really stunning scenic projections (the arrival of the sailing ships at the start of act two, and some attractive coloured ceilings, if I remember correctly) were unhappily juxtaposed with minimalist sets using perspex like materials.
This was a brave attempt at a major project by two co-operating companies. There was much to admire, but the good work was dragged down by the aforementioned difficulties. I am sure that the participating companies will learn from this, and that some very fine productions will follow in the future.
Artistic directors MUST learn that
1 Choreography and scenario writing are two different skills that donŐt necessarily reside in the same person. It is stupid to waste choreographic skills for lack of scenario writing support so far as the larger works are concerned.
2 The classical ballet is a VERY specialist genre. Scenarios created for totally different genre inevitably translate badly. If the classical ballet is to avoid the charge of being a second hand art form, then it MUST write its own works.
3 You CANNOT justify a large classical company with 60 or more dancers receiving substantial public or private sponsorship without writing major works which fully utilise the resource. Major works MUST be written to properly utilise the corps de ballet.
......which is getting off the point a bit!