Giuseppe Verdi's Otello is renowned for the fulsome evil personified in Iago. Arguably more villainous than the Iago of Shakespeare's play, Verdi's Iago is ruthlessly wicked in his crusade to destroy his rival, Cassio, and his lord, Otello, who Iago feels has unjustly passed him over for a promotion. Verdi's score fleshes out the malevolence of the man, creating a portrait of evil that is compelling — the tragedy of the story may be the destruction of the noble Moor Otello, but the diabolical architect of this great evil is Iago, and his is a wickedness so profound that he becomes fascinating. Union Avenue Opera stages a production of Otello at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (August 1 through 9) at the Union Avenue Christian Church (733 North Union Boulevard; 314-361-2881 or www.unionavenueopera.org). Tickets are $30 to $52.
Fridays, Saturdays. Starts: Aug. 1. Continues through Aug. 9, 2008