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Greek National Opera's GNO TV Premiere Of Verdi's OTELLO Directed By Robert Wilson is Available Now!

The performance became available to stream on November 6.

Greek National Opera's GNO TV Premiere Of Verdi's OTELLO Directed By Robert Wilson is Available Now!

The Greek National Opera (GNO) presents the premiere broadcast of Verdi's Otello, directed and designed by Robert Wilson, on its high-quality streaming platform, GNO TV, beginning Sunday, November 6, 2022 at tv.nationalopera.gr. Otello, a major co-production with the Baden-Baden Festival, was filmed in Stavros Niarchos Hall at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens on March 2 and 5, 2022 during its Greek premiere. Subtitles are available in Greek, English, and French.

This production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [www.SNF.org] to enhance the GNO's artistic outreach.

Otello stars leading Greek and international soloists including Latvian tenor Aleksandrs Antoņenko, who made his celebrated Otello debut at the Salzburg Festival in 2008 and has since performed the role at the Metropolitan Opera (2015) and at opera companies worldwide including London, Paris, Vienna, and Barcelona. Antoņenko "proves with his heldentenor vocal metal that he is still the leading representative of the role...His penetrative power, which relies on monumental fortissimi...is reminiscent of great Otello singers of the past" (Concerti). Rounding out the lead roles are internationally acclaimed GNO soloists soprano Cellia Costea who "brought precision, full high notes and rich tone" (Opera) to the role of Desdemona, and baritone Tassis Christoyannis who "impressed with his resonance and velvety, grainy tone as Iago" (Opera). Young up-and-coming Greek conductor Stathis Soulis leads the GNO orchestra and chorus.

Verdi's four-act opera Otello closely follows the narrative of the Shakespeare play. The action takes place on Cyprus, where the island's Moorish General, the war hero Otello, is manipulated by the scheming Iago into strangling his innocent wife, Desdemona, believing her unfaithful. When Iago's machinations are exposed, Otello takes his own life.

Otello takes a lot of concentration," said Wilson. "This story is more of an internal conflict, a question of insecurity with someone who is very strong and also very weak. It's a traditional, tragic, complicated situation. Otello is dealing with the question 'what is it like to be a foreigner?" One finds these classical conflicts throughout all literature, throughout all history. One can say it is contemporary, but I would rather say it's full of time. It is not 'timeless,' but full of time. We can go back to the 16th century or to the 19th century or we can be in the 21st century - we still have the same old conflicts."

Wilson's production moves the action from the original setting into a modernist, impressionistic landscape lifting heavily from Noh theater. Focusing less on physical sets than dramatic lighting and static theater, Wilson's production is a highly stylized series of tableaus meant to emphasize the strength of Verdi's music. In its review of the Athens production, Opera wrote: "the stage was mostly a stark, undecorated and dimly-lit space, with the floor area outlined in fluorescent light, the darkness an effective symbol of Iago's diabolical psyche and lust for vengeance, and for Otello's doubts and jealousy... Gestures were minimal and robotic, facial expressions blank and stoic, in stark and disconcerting contrast to the emotions of jealousy, fury and despair experienced by the characters."

GNO TV was launched by the GNO in November 2020 with support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) as part of an outreach grant, increasing the company's artistic reach even further afield. Although launched in the midst of the pandemic when GNO's live performances had been suspended, GNO TV continues as a high-quality digital platform aimed at attracting audiences worldwide with programming ranging from opera and ballet performances from the Stavros Niarchos Hall, to operetta, music theater performances, and festivals from the Alternative Stage, as well as earlier GNO productions, new online festivals, educational programs and children's productions. GNO TV offers both free-to-view and paid content and currently offers 30 productions.



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