The Cape Town Opera Company’s latest stage feast that debuted on the 6th of April this year at the Cape Town Opera House (formally Nico Malan) is the Opera “Otello”.
This operatic version of William Shakespeare’s “Othello” by the well known master Giuseppe Verdi is an Italian libretto in 4 acts, first seen in Milan on February 5th 1887.
The opera has been chosen to represent the Verdi Bicentenary for 2013 and marks the beginning of a partnership between six Southern Hemisphere opera companies. It will be staged in Australia and New Zealand in 2014 and 2015. Russian tenor Badri Maisuradze sings the title role of Othello, with Ferrier Prize-winning South African soprano Sarah-Jane Brandon in her role debut as Desdemona. George Stevens plays the part of the evil Jago and Brad Cohen leads the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra in the score.
A new twist on the well known opera is that CTOC, in collaboration with West Australian Opera, Opera Queensland, New Zealand Opera, State Opera of South Australia and Victorian Opera have decided to boldly set the stage in a modern military setting.
Staged entirely on a Multi-National Force Aircraft Carrier, the plot opens with Otello landing on the deck in a Blackhawk helicopter, surrounded by cheering deckhands and fellow soldiers.
Asked to advise and supply uniforms for the lead cast, GI Combat Supplies has assisted costume designer Michael Mitchell with the selection of TruSpec MultiCam BDU’s for the special forces soldiers, with TruSpec Urban digital Pattern also in the mix. Airsoft weapons in the form of WE M4 GBB rifles, WE GBB 1911’s and Beretta M9's were the weapons of choice. The load out consisted of Tan vests and pouches by Condor.
Mr. Mitchell has received outstanding reviews for his designs in Otello by the press and the bold choice to modernise this Opera is successful in the authenticity of the soldiers and their convincing gear.
We thank Cape Town Opera Company for allowing us to be a part of this amazing production.
Conductor: Brad Cohen
Director: Simon Phillips
Set Design: Dale Ferguson
Costume Design: Michael Mitchell
Lighting Design: Nick Schlieper
Orchestra: Cape Philharmonic Orchestra
Assistant Director: Matthew Wild
Stage Manager: Juanita van Wyk