Intercultural Musical Explorations in ‘Coffeehouse Opera’: Shakespeare’s Othello, An Ottoman Eunuch and Bektashi Sufism|Watch video

The Sohbet-i Osmani Lecture Series

presents

Intercultural Musical Explorations in ‘Coffeehouse Opera’:

Shakespeare’s Othello, An Ottoman Eunuch and Bektashi Sufism

Dr. Mehmet Ali Sanlikol

Emerson College and Dr. Robert Larabee

New England Conservatory

Composer Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol reimagined Shakespeare’s Othello in an Ottoman setting, with Othello as an African eunuch and Desdemona as an Italian concubine, in Othello in the Seraglio: The tragedy of Sümbül the Black Eunuch. With Robert Labaree, writer of the opera’s script, Sanlıkol created a ‘coffeehouse opera’ in which an Ottoman meddah (storyteller) retells an historically-based legend of love and jealousy through early European and Turkish instruments, singing styles and musical languages. An important aspect of the work is Bektashi Sufism, which also found its way into several other works by Sanlıkol that will be included in the presentation. The coffehouse opera Othello in the Seraglio will be performed at Oberon/A.R.T. in Cambridge on March 1st and 2nd: http://americanrepertorytheater.org/events/show/othello-seraglio-tragedy-sümbül-black-eunuch.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 || 4:00-6:00 pm

CMES, Room 102, 38 Kirkland St, Cambridge, MA

Link: http://bit.ly/20qRc2E

Source: THE CENTER FOR MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES || HARVARD UNIVERSITY

*****

 “Brings timeless enchantment to this age-old tragedy…. Gorgeous music…beautifully played and sung.” – Boston Intelligencer

Othello in the Seraglio, a uniquely powerful “coffeehouse opera,” tells an age-old story of passionate love and murderous jealousy, of a Black slave at the 17th century Ottoman Court who rises to power and riches, only to come to a tragic end. The stunning score, by Boston composer and Grammy nominee Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, weaves together Italian Baroque and Turkish sources with his own newly-composed music into a tapestry of uncanny beauty – performed on European period instruments and traditional Turkish instruments by an ensemble of 12 instrumentalists, singers and a dramatic storyteller. You have never heard anything like this before – because nothing like it has existed until now.

Read more on American Repertory Theater org

*****

 Othello in the Seraglio
The Tragedy of Sümbül the Black Eunuch

a coffeehouse opera

dedicated to Tom Zajac

Conceived and composed by Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol
Storyteller script by Robert Labaree

Performed on European period instruments
and traditional Turkish instruments

“Brings timeless enchantment to this age-old tragedy…Gorgeous music.”
THE BOSTON MUSICAL INTELLIGENCER

Video:

Click the below links for longer excerpts from the opera:

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photography by Öykü Canlı

With eleven musicians and a storyteller, Othello in the Seraglio is scaled to the intimate, informal setting of a coffeehouse in seventeenth century Istanbul (Constantinople). The storyteller spins out a well-known tale, an historically-based legend of love and jealousy, intensified by the crossing of boundaries between the free and the enslaved, white and black, Muslim and non-Muslim, East and West.

Based on:
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice, by William Shakespeare
Un Capitano Moro (A Moorish Captain), by Giovanbattista Giraldi (Cinzio)
Kızlarağası’nın Piçi (The Bastard of the Chief Black Eunuch), by Reşad Ekrem Koçu

 Source: http://sanlikol.com/othello-in-the-seraglio/

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