DiscoverEvery Voice with Terrance McKnightA Radio Special: Verdi's "Otello"
A Radio Special: Verdi's "Otello"

A Radio Special: Verdi's "Otello"

Update: 2023-08-03


“Otello” debuted in Milan in 1887, just two years after European nations gathered in Berlin to agree on a campaign to carve up and colonize the African continent for their own profit. Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, based on the play Shakespeare wrote in the very early 1600s, centers on the Moor, Otello — an African who becomes a much celebrated Venetian general for leading a successful war against his fellow Africans.

As a Black man in a position of power, Otello’s status inspires praise and worship by some and searing loathing from others. How do stereotypes of Black manhood, an all-too-familiar danger to Black men navigating life in America today, show up in Otello’s story? 

With the help of the Every Voice team and special guests – Maribeth Diggle, Thomas Hampson, Peter Sellars, Limmie Pulliam, Kevin Maynor, Dr Uzee Brown Jr. and Sylvia McNair – host Terrance Mcnight examines how this centuries-old story still shapes today’s narratives around Black success and how the work of Toni Morrison might lead us to a deeper understanding of these characters. 

“Every Voice” is hosted by Terrance McKnight. The Executive Producer is Tony Phillips. The Executive Producer for WQXR Podcasts is Elizabeth Nonemaker.  Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Sapir Rosenblatt. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to The Met archives.

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit









Sleep Timer


End of Episode

5 Minutes

10 Minutes

15 Minutes

30 Minutes

45 Minutes

60 Minutes

120 Minutes

A Radio Special: Verdi's "Otello"

A Radio Special: Verdi's "Otello"

Terrance McKnight, Maribeth Diggle, Thomas Hampson, Peter Sellars, Limmie Pulliam, Dr Uzee Brown, Jr. Sylvia McNair, Kevin Maynor