Sun | Dec 4, 2016

'Otello' encores at Palace tomorrow

Published:Saturday | August 16, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Renée Fleming as Des-demona and Johan Botha in the title role of Verdi's 'Otello'. - Contributed

One of Verdi's greatest operas, based on one of Shakespeare's greatest plays, returned to the Metropolitan Opera last night in a splendid staging of Otello, with the incomparable Renee Fleming delivering a sublime performance as the ill-fated Desdemona. -- Huffington Post

THE MET: Live in HD's Summer Encore series presents Giuseppe Verdi's Otello (Othello) tomorrow, Sunday, August 17, at 11:30 a.m., showing at Palace Cineplex and Palace Multiplex. It had its world premiere at La Scala, Milan, Italy, on February 5, 1827, with libretto by Arrigo Boito, based on the play by William Shakespeare.

Act I is set in Cyprus, during the late 15th Century. Cypriots watch anxiously from the shore as a fierce storm batters the Venetian fleet sent to defend their island from the invading Turks. The Moor Otello, a Venetian general and governor of Cyprus, lands his flagship safely in the port and announces the destruction of the Turkish fleet.

Iago, Otello's ensign, confers with the wealthy Roderigo, who is in love with Desdemona, a Venetian beauty recently married to Otello. Promising to help him, Iago assures Roderigo that Desdemona will soon tire of her husband. He reveals his hatred for Otello, who passed him over for advancement, promoting Cassio instead.

While the citizens celebrate the governor's victory and his safe return home, Iago proposes a toast. Cassio declines to drink, but Iago argues he cannot refuse to salute Otello's new wife. Cassio consents and grows tipsy as Iago provokes Roderigo to get into a fight with Cassio. Montano, the former governor, tries to separate the two, but Cassio attacks him as well.

Otello appears from the castle to restore order, furious about his soldiers' behaviour. When he sees Desdemona disturbed by the commotion, he takes away Cassio's recent promotion and commands everyone to leave. Alone, the lovers recall their courtship and assure each other of their love.

Otello also stars South African tenor John Botha in a stirring portrayal of the title role and Falk Struckmann as the supreme villain, Iago.

Met Summer Encores will play at Palace Cineplex and Palace Multiplex until September 28, 2014. Gounoud's Romeo Et Juliette plays on September 14, and Puccini's La Fanciulla Del West on September 28. Tickets are on sale at the box office and via the web at www.palaceamusement.com, with a Palace Card.