A new staging of Verdi’s masterpiece “Otello”, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and directed by Bartlett Sher, opens the Met season. Aleksandrs Antonenko sings his first Met performances of the tormented Moor of Venice, with Sonya Yoncheva in her role debut as his wife, Desdemona, and Željko Lučić as Otello’s sinister rival, Iago. The staging, also featuring Dimitri Pittas as Cassio and Günther Groissböck as Lodovico, also marks the Met debut of set designer Es Devlin, whose previous designs include the 2014 revival of “Machinal” on Broadway and numerous opera productions for Covent Garden, La Scala, and other leading companies. The set design features an ever-changing glass castle for Otello and Desdemona and the action takes place in the XIX c.
Verdi writes “Otello” almost against his will – he had already decided to stop composing when Arrigo Boito finished the wonderful libretto after Shakespeare’s play and together with the publisher Ricordi succeeded in convincing Verdi to write the music. The intensity and dramatic qualities of the score are remarkable. Especially striking are the opening scene with the storm and the Willow Song and “Ave Maria” arias sung by Desdemona in the last act. During the last season Sonya Yoncheva triumphed at the Met with her role as Mimi in Puccini’s “La Bohème” and the “New York Times” named her “Last minute sensation!”. Her debut as the fragile and beautiful Desdemona, who falls victim to her husband’s enormous jealousy and the manipulative scheming of Iago, is highly anticipated from all the admirers of the young Bulgarian singer.
„The soprano Sonya Yoncheva is poised for stardom“
The New York Times
With surtitles in Bulgarian and English.
METROPOLITAN OPERA LIVE FROM NEW YORK
by Giacomo Puccini
6th September, Festival and Congress Centre – Varna, Hall 1, 19.00 h.