I have never forgotten seeing this on a MET telecast and being blown away.
For those who overuse the word "awesome", this redefines that word. It is incredible. Jon Vickers is never a singer who is acting. He IS Otello. Every utterance, in addition to being well sung, has an intensity that illuminates every phrase.
You don't need the subtitles. When he sings, "Non ora!" (Not now!) it is a warning Desdemona doesn't heed but obviously should. In the scene, after he calls her "Otello's whore" he drives her from the stage with an elemental fury that takes your breath away. Wow!
Renata Scotto was also a great actress, and here she is in pristine vocal condition. This is the kind of performance for her that only adds to her glory. Cornell MacNeil was never my favorite baritone, but here he grabs every nuance. The duet "Si pel ciel" is monumentally good.
Here's a taste of what's to come...