The West Australian Opera’s contribution to the Perth International Arts Festival program for 2014 will be epic in all respects: Verdi’s powerfully dramatic opera, Otello, presented through a tri-national, coproduction involving six opera companies from Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. This operatic masterwork has not been performed in Perth previously; and is an ideal production to open the 2014 Festival.
Based on Shakespeare’s tragedy, Othello, Verdi’s magnificent score and Arrigo Boito’s dramatic libretto display power, poignant beauty and profound tragedy from its first moments describing the terror of a storm at sea through the self-serving manipulation of flawed characters to the disastrous conclusion which engulfs them all. Italian tenor Antonello Palombi makes his debut with the West Australian Opera in the role of Otello.
Also making her first appearance with the Company is London-based Australian soprano, Cheryl Barker,singing the role of Desdemona. Joining them on stage will be outstanding WAO principles James Clayton as Iago and Fiona Campbell as Emilia.
“Opera has a way of bringing people together and I am thrilled to bring Verdi’s Otello to the stage with the Perth International Arts Festival in February 2014. It has been exciting to see this tri-national coproduction take shape. My Cape Town Opera colleagues Michael Williams and Christine Crouse, together with their team, brought this new production to life in the workshops and rehearsal rooms of Cape Town in the bicentenary year of the composer’s birth. We reflect on the great conductor Toscanini’s comment to his mother after the premier “Otello is a masterpiece! Get on your knees, mother, and say, ‘Viva, Verdi!’.” Carolyn Chard – General Manager, West Australian Opera West Australian Opera Artistic Director, Joseph Colaneri considers Otello to be one of the ‘Top 5’of all operas; so this opportunity for Perth audiences is not to be missed. He will conduct the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in this wonderful production which will also feature the West Australian Opera Chorus augmented by an eight-man contingent from the Cape Town Opera Chorus.