While not many Jamaicans can say they have watched many an Opera, even the most distant observer has heard of the emotional roller coaster one can take you on. It is certainly a good way to escape from the trauma created by the passage of Hurricane Sandy this week.
Otello, Giuseppe Verdi's Shakespearean tragedy, travels all the way from New York's Metropolitan Opera for a Jamaican audience at the Carib 5 in Cross Roads.
The 11:55 a.m. start will mark the second time Carib is presenting what must be seen as alternative entertainment, here in Jamaica.
The presentation is part of the Live in HD series, a broadcast which takes Opera from the Met and broadcasts it live to 1,900 cinemas around the world. Carib 5 became part of the group of cinemas by virtue of the fact that it now features digital technology in its setup.
Otello was Verdi's penultimate opera, and had its first showing at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, in 1887.
Interestingly, the opera came after Verdi had initially been retired for at least a decade but was convinced by friends to return because of his immense popularity.
Since that time, a great many tenors have played Otello, including Plácido Domingo, who has the most recordings of any. Though the number of persons who have sung the opera is numerous, there have always been reservations about who should do it because it can easily go bad.
It is therefore of great interest to see how Johan Botha takes on the challenge along with Renée Fleming, who plays his wife Desdemona.
The opera comes after the relative success of showing Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore. Though the crowd was not expansive, it was appreciative and the interest in seeing all the behind-the-scenes footage, a new phenomenon, may just swell those numbers.
Otello, like its father Othello, is a tragedy which occurs out of the strong emotions that come with love and the equally treacherous possibilities that come with ambition.
The plot includes Otello, Desdemona, Lago, Cassio, Rodrigo and Emilia.
Lago wishes to be in Otello's place, Cassio wishes to be seen as deserving of Otello's favour, Rodrigo is in love with Desdemona and Emilia is a faithful servant, whose silence is broken too late.
Like all great Shakespearean tragedies, there is much to learn from the unfolding of the plot. Jealousy is blind but love sees too much, and of course, the danger of the Icarus syndrome. Don't fly too high for you will burn, and don't fly too low for you will suffer a similar fate.
Otello will be followed by The Tempest, another Shakespearean work, Mozart's La Clemenza di Titto, Un Ballo in Maschara, and the work Verdi had originally called his last, the very popular, Aida.