Met Opera Opening Night: Verdi’s Otello
A 10-year tradition continued as the Metropolitan Opera's 2015-2016 Season opened with a live transmission of Verdi's Otello to multiple screens in Times Square, September 21, 2015 at 6:00 pm.
The Met season opened with Verdi’s masterful Otello, inspired by Shakespeare’s play and matching it in tragic intensity. Director Bartlett Sher probed the Moor’s dramatic downfall with an outstanding cast: tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko played the doomed Otello; new soprano star Sonya Yoncheva sang Desdemona, Otello’s innocent wife and victim; and baritone Željko Lučić played the evil Iago, who masterminds Otello’s demise. Dynamic maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducted.
The opera is set on the island of Cyprus in the late 15th century. The island itself represents an outpost of a European power (Venice) under constant attack from an encroaching, hostile adversary (the Turkish Empire). In a sense, the setting echoes Otello’s outsider status: he is a foreigner surrounded by suspicious Europeans. The Met’s new production updates the setting to the late 19th century, where the action unfolds in a shape-shifting glass palace.