This week on Every Voice with Terrance McKnight, we go deeper into Giuseppe Verdi's character of the “Moor of Venice." Otello is a celebrated general in the Venetian army, and as a Black man in a position of power, his status inspires praise and worship by some and searing loathing from others. Otello’s subordinate, Iago, thinks his boss woefully undeserving of his success and his white Venetian wife. Driven mad by entitlement, racism, and jealousy, he schemes to “right” this wrong by any means necessary.
Joined by baritone Thomas Hampson, tenor Limmie Pulliam, and director Peter Sellars, Every Voice unravels the myth that entangles Otello: that Black manhood is something to be feared and controlled, and how the same stereotypes and undertones of superiority remain an alltoo-familiar danger to Black men navigating life in America today.
This episode is hosted by Terrance McKnight and produced by David Norville. 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 Alan Goffinski. 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 www.arts.gov.