Catch the Met Opera’s production of Verdi’s Otello at Cinema Nouveau



The 2015/16 Live in HD season from The Metropolitan Opera in New York returned to South African screens in October. The second opera in the season is a new production of Verdi’s Otello.

It releases at Cinema Nouveau and select Ster-Kinekor cinemas on Saturday, November 14 for a limited season. Conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, this is a new staging by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher of the Verdi masterpiece based on Shakespeare’s tragic drama of jealousy and deceit.

Aleksandrs Antonenko, who has starred as the doomed Otello around the world to acclaim, makes his Met role debut opposite rising Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva in her first-ever performances of Otello’s innocent wife Desdemona.

Željko Lučić adds a new role to his company repertory as the evil Iago, as do Dimitri Pittas as Iago’s pawn Cassio and Günther Groissböck as the Venetian ambassador Lodovico.

Sher’s staging will feature scenic design by acclaimed designer Es Devlin in her Met debut; costume design by six-time Tony Award winner Catherine Zuber; lighting design by two-time Tony winner Donald Holder; and video design by Luke Halls in his Met debut.

Otello had its Met premiere in 1891 and has been performed by the company 325 times. James McCracken has sung the title role a record 59 times at the Met. Notable singers who have starred in the opera at the Met include Plácido Domingo, Giovanni Martinelli, and Jon Vickers as Otello; Montserrat Caballé, Renée Fleming, and Kiri Te Kanawa as Desdemona; and Renato Bruson, Tito Gobbi, and Sherrill Milnes as Iago.

Otello has historically been a popular choice to open the Met season. The 1891-92 season opened with a staging on tour in Chicago starring Jean de Reszke as Otello and Emma Albani as Desdemona, and the opera opened six more Met seasons, most recently in 2004-05. Bartlett Sher’s staging is the eighth production in Met history. It replaces a production by Elijah Moshinsky that premiered in 1994.

The October 17 matinee performance of Otello was filmed for transmission around the world, and will be screened in more than 2 000 movie theatres in 70 countries.

In addition to the production, lovers of opera are invited behind the scenes with the Met’s stars. Singers serve as hosts for the HD series, conducting live interviews with cast and crew members as well as the production teams.

They introduce the popular behind-the-scenes features during the intermissions, giving cinema audiences an unprecedented look at what goes into staging an opera at one of the world’s greatest houses.

The Met was the first arts company to experiment as an alternative content provider, starting on a modest scale in 2006. Since then, its programme has grown every season with more than 18 million tickets sold to date, and its tenth anniversary season being celebrated this year.

The Met: Live in HD series is made possible by a generous grant from its founding sponsor, The Neubauer Family Foundation. Global corporate sponsorship of The Met: Live in HD is provided by Bloomberg.

Otello will be screened exclusively at Cinema Nouveau and select Ster-Kinekor theatres countrywide, including: Gateway Nouveau and Gateway Commercial in Durban; V&A Waterfront Nouveau in Cape Town; Ster-Kinekor Somerset Mall in Somerset West and Garden Route Mall in George; Rosebank Nouveau and Ster-Kinekor Bedford Centre in Johannesburg; and at Brooklyn Nouveau in Pretoria.

The running time is three hours and 30 minutes including an interval. Catch it at 5 pm on November 14, 24 and 26, 2.30 pm on November 15, 11.30 am on November 17 and 25.

Watch the trailer here:

For booking information on The Met: Live in HD season, visit or or callTicketline on 0861-Movies (668 437).

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