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Renee Fleming, Johan Botha to Star in 'Otello' on Great Performances' AT THE MET, 2/24

Renee Fleming, Johan Botha to Star in 'Otello' on Great Performances' AT THE MET, 2/24

Verdi's Shakespearean tragedy OTELLO starring Johan Botha in the title role and Renee Fleming as Otello's innocent wife, Desdemona, airs on Great Performances AT THE MET Sunday, February 24 at 12 noon on PBS (check local listings).

In New York, THIRTEEN will premiere the opera on Thursday, February 21 at 8:30 p.m., with an encore showing Sunday, February 24 at 12:30 p.m.

Semyon Bychkov, who led an acclaimed run of performances featuring Botha and Fleming in the 2007-08 season, again conducts the opera, regarded by many critics as Verdi's dramatic masterpiece.

Falk Struckmann takes the role of the villain Iago for the first time at the Met, and rising tenor Michael Fabiano, a winner of the Met's 2007 National Council Auditions, makes his house role debut as Cassio. Otello will be seen in Elijah Moshinsky's production, which premiered at the Met in 1994.

Wilborn Hampton in the Huffington Post, called this production a "splendid staging of OTELLO with the incomparable Renee Fleming delivering a sublime performance as the ill-fated Desdemona" Zachary Woolfe in The New York Times opined, "Falk Struckmann's forceful yet subtle Iagoconveyed chillingly how Iago manages to wreak such havoc while eluding suspicion."

Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky will host the transmission.

OTELLO was originally seen live in movie theaters on October 27 as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 1900 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 64 countries around the world.

Great Performances AT THE MET is a presentation of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America's most prolific and respected public media providers. For 50 years, THIRTEEN has been making the most of the rich resources and passionate people of New York and the world, reaching millions of people with on-air and online programming that celebrates arts and culture, offers insightful commentary on the news of the day, explores the worlds of science and nature, and invites students of all ages to have fun while learning.

Corporate support for Great Performances AT THE MET is provided by Toll Brothers, America's luxury home builder. This Great Performances presentation is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, Vivian Milstein, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, and public television viewers.

For the Met, Barbara Willis Sweete directs the telecast. Jay David Saks 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.

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