Last night - at Cinema Nouveau here in South Africa - The Met's Otello was the most thrilling experience of this great opera I have ever had.
The Met orchestra was inspired under Nezet-Sequin's baton, by turns intensely dramatic and wonderfully restrained, as during Iago's terrifying Creed, unforgettably delivered by Zeljko Lucic. (I confess it is impossible to decide these days whether the names of The Met's fine international casts are harder to spell or to pronounce.) At the death, the perfect control and clear, pure tones of Sonja Yoncheva made Desdemona's Willow Song and Ave Maria deeply moving, the first time some part of me did not want her appalling end to end.
The Met hosts who introduce the operas to the cinema audiences always urge them to 'come to The Met' because, they say, nothing compares to a live performance in the opera house. I will always urge everyone to take their advice, though after a lifetime of going to the opera in the opera house, I am no longer sure if they are right.