Otello at the Met
The Moor Otello, new governor of Cyprus, sails through a severe storm at sea to arrive safely back home on the island of Cyprus and to reunite with his noble wife Desdemona. With him is his malevolent ensign Iago who will mastermind the inevitable tragedy that will unfold. The time is the late 15th century.
Otello, a dramatic opera in four acts by the Italian composer Giuseppi Verdi (1813-1901), will be transmitted live from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City to movie theaters throughout the world this Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm as the second opera in the Live Met in HD series for 2012-2013.
The series will be shown in four theaters in West Virginia: Cinemark at the Huntington Mall in Barboursville; Great Escape in Nitro; Hollywood Stadium 12 in Granville/Morgantown and Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg , as well as the Cinemark Theater in Ashland, Kentucky. Otello will be sung in Italian with English subtitles during an approximate running time of 3 ½ hours.
Arrigo Boito (1842-1918) wrote the libretto (script) based upon the tragedy by William Shakespeare entitled Othello or The Moor of Venice. Boito’s libretto immediately focuses on the evil manipulations of Iago.
Otello is a Venetian general of Moorish background who is now governor of Cyprus. Otello is one of the most demanding tenor parts in the entire opera repertoire. Johan Botha will sing the role this Saturday.
American soprano Renee Fleming will sing the role of Otello’s blameless wife Desdemona. Faithful and forgiving, a woman of gentleness and goodness, Desdemona sings two poignant arias in Act IV – “Willow Song”, “and” Ave Maria” as she considers her portending doom.
Iago is “the very epitome of wickedness, who commits foul acts for wickedness’ sake, rejoicing diabolically in the misery he causes.” (Music scholar Paul Henry Lang) Iago celebrates his own evil in a blasphemous Credo aria (“I Believe in a Cruel God”). Baritone Falk Struckmann will sing the role of the villain Iago.
Local Huntington opera lovers who cannot attend the live transmission of Otello this Saturday will be able to see an encore performance on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 6:30 pm at the Cinemark Theater at the Huntington Mall.