Verdi wrote this four-act opera in 1887 and it has come to be considered Italian opera’s greatest tragedy. Whatever your opinion is about this everyone does come away with the belief that it is a wondrous mélange of drama and music. This is theatre at its best with profound moments and theatrically engaging.
Otello is a story about an outsider, a hero who cannot contain his jealousy. Otello is a moor who has had considerable success as a general in the Venetian army. Iago is out to get Otello because he was passed over in favour of his enemy Cassio for the position of deputy. Very sneakily, Iago manages to have a large hand in Cassio’s dismissal from his position due to a drunken display.
Iago’s plotting does not end there. He makes it look like Cassio is having an affair with Otello’s wife, Desdemona. Otello does not know who to kill first. This deceit goes even further than anyone, including Iago, could have imagined.
And to think after writing Aida and other successes, Verdi considered himself retired. Otello almost never was. It took the man who wrote the text to it, Arrigo Boito, based on Shakespeare’s Othello several years to convince the composer to write the music for the opera.
Otello Kristian Benedikt / Desdemona Hiromi Omura / Iago Aris Argiris / Cassio Antoine Bélanger / Emilia Lauren Segal / Roderigo Pasquale D’Alessio / Montano Josh Whelan / Lodovico Valerian Ruminski / Hérault Geoffroy Salvas / Conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson / Stage Director Glynis Leyshon / Fight Director Jacques Lemay / Sets and Costumes Peter Hartwell / Lighting Guy Simard / Projection Designer Jamie Nesbitt / Chœur de l’Opéra de Montréal / Orchestre symphonique de Montréal
-Dates: January 20, February 2, 4 and 6, 2016
-Venue: Place des Arts – Salle Wilfrid Pelletier
-Ticket Purchase: www.operademontreal.placedesarts.com
-Ticket Prices: $21.65, $62.56, $91.79, $117.88, $154.41 (plus handling charges)
-Opera Time: 7:30 p.m.