Metropolitan Opera Says 'No' to Blackface Otello
Verdi's opera Otello is renowned for its challenging vocals. For over a century, finding anyone – much less a black singer – to portray the Moor of Venice was difficult and so an unfortunate theatrical tradition was born: white tenors wearing black face. But even opera must change with the times. The New York Metropolitan Opera's current production of Otello is the first in which the white singer performing the title role will not be wearing makeup to darken his complexion. Jeff Lunden reports.