Editor’s Pick: The In Series – ‘Othello/Desdemona’

INSeries OperaTheater: Claron McFadden & Maribeth Diggle
INSeries OperaTheater: Claron McFadden and Maribeth Diggle

The provocatively progressive arts group the IN Sequence has turn into known in latest years for its perform in expanding the achieve, as effectively as the variety, of what is regarded opera. Led by Timothy Nelson, the enterprise prides by itself on “an tactic to art-building that is radically inclusive.”

That is definitely the circumstance with its newest production, whose title Othello/Desdemona only scratches the area of what’s in retail outlet. The evening gives an adaptation of Shakespeare’s common tragedy, relayed as a result of the audio of Verdi’s celebrated opera, and increased by Toni Morrison’s participate in providing titular voice to Othello’s martyred spouse. But there’s even additional to it than that.

Billed “a at the time-in-a-life time encounter,” the new “two-evening experience” is offered in two distinctive portions, the primary connecting thread staying the character of Desdemona, performed each evenings by Maribeth Diggle.

Diggle will star opposite Walker J. Jackson as Othello, Brian Arreola as Cassio, Robert Mellon as Iago, and Elizabeth Mondragon as Emilia.

Accompanying the solid is jazz composer/arranger Janelle Gill, community strings participant Tina Chancey, and Baltimore master of the African kora and djembe Amadou Kouyate.

“Part One: Othello” presents a twist on Verdi’s opera in which the first Italian language is replaced by sung English textual content by poet and scholar Andrew Albin, and in which the score is expanded by musical “sea-interludes” composed and performed on stage by saxophonist Matthew Evan Taylor.

Also introducing to the experience are the searing photographs of British-Jamaican visible artist Keith Piper from his sequence Go West Younger Person, checking out how Western civilization has feared and fetisized the Black male entire body.

“Part Two: Desdemona” offers Morrison’s meditative play retelling the well-known narrative from the standpoint of Othello’s wife as well as Barbary, the African slave lady who died caring for the young Desdemona as made by Morrison, right here portrayed by renowned crossover soprano soloist Claron McFadden.

Interwoven into the staging is music of Nina Simone as properly as audio from 17th-century Venetian composer Barabara Strozzi, additionally the immersive and interactive tissue-paper sculpture Peace by Piece developed by visible artist Maya Freelon.

As a result of June 19.

At the Supply Theater, 1835 14th St. NW in Washington, D.C., and at the Baltimore Theatre Task, 45 W. Preston St.

Tickets are $60 to $80 for a two-evening deal, or $40 to $65 for every overall performance.

Dates change for every location. Stop by www.inseries.org.