New Staging of Verdi’s Masterpiece Otello, Conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Directed by Bartlett Sher On Great Performances at the Met Sunday, February 21 at 12 p.m. on PBS
Aleksandrs Antonenko, one of the world’s leading interpreters of Otello, sings his first Met performances of the role, opposite Sonya Yoncheva as Desdemona and Željko Lučić as the villainous Iago
Verdi’s late masterpiece based on Shakespeare’s tragic drama of jealousy and deceit, Otello, airs on THIRTEEN’S Great Performances at the Met Sunday, February 21 at 12 p.m. on PBS. (Check local listings.) (In New York, THIRTEEN will air the opera at 12:30 p.m.)
Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher‘s acclaimed new production is led by dynamic conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin with Aleksandrs Antonenko in his first Met performance as the tormented Moor of Venice, with Sonya Yoncheva in her role debut as his innocent wife, Desdemona.
Also featuring Željko Lučić as Otello’s sinister rival, Iago, Dimitri Pittas as Cassio, and Günther Groissböck as Lodovico, this staging 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.
When the production opened the Met’s current season, The New York Times noted, “[Sonya] Yoncheva is poised for a major career… Her luscious sound has just enough of an earthy tinge and texture to balance the shimmer of her singing,” adding, “What other soprano right now can sing the ‘Willow Song’ and ‘Ave Maria’ more beautifully?”
The Financial Times judged the production to be “a serious and compelling effort with a magnificence worthy of the Met… Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin led a performance of cracking authority.”
And The Washington Post found it to be “a compelling and sensitive reading of Verdi’s score that never lost its focus on the narrative and emotional arc of the story while mining the depths of this beautiful, shifting, chiaroscuro music.” Bass-baritone Eric Owens hosts the broadcast.
Otello was originally seen live in movie theaters on October 17, 2015 as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 2,000 movie theaters and performing arts centers in over 70 countries around the world. The Live in HD series has reached a record-breaking 18 million viewers since its inception in 2006.
Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers.
Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®. Major funding for the Met Opera presentation is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. This Great Performances presentation is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, and public television viewers.
For the Met, Gary Halvorson directs the telecast. David Frost is Music Producer. Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are Producers. Peter Gelb is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.
Visit Great Performances online at www.pbs.org/gperf for additional information on this and other Great Performances programs.