The Met: Live in HD – Otello
The Met season opens with Verdi’s masterful Otello, inspired by Shakespeare’s play and matching it in tragic intensity. Director Bartlett Sher probes the Moor’s dramatic downfall with an outstanding cast: tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko plays the doomed Otello; new soprano star Sonya Yoncheva sings Desdemona, Otello’s innocent wife and victim; and baritone Željko Lu?i? plays the evil Iago, who masterminds Otello’s demise. Dynamic maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts.
Often cited as Italian opera’s greatest tragedy, Otello is a miraculous union of music and drama, a masterpiece as profound philosophically as it is thrilling theatrically. Shakespeare’s tale of an outsider, a great hero who can’t control his jealousy, was carefully molded by the librettist Arrigo Boito into a taut and powerful opera text. Otello almost wasn’t written: following the success of Aida and his setting of the Requiem mass in the early 1870s, Verdi considered himself retired, and it took Boito and publisher Giulio Ricordi several years to persuade him to take on a major new work.