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NEWYORKFor Yannick Nezet-Seguin, one of his key tests while conducting a performance of Verdi’s Otello is how the audience responds early in Act 4. I t’s the scene in which Otello’s wife, Desdemona, is preparing for bed and sings the plaintive Willow Song followed by the Ave Maria. “It’s heartbreaking and painfully beautiful,” said Nezet-Seguin, who led the Metropolitan Opera’s live in H D performance on Saturday. “Yet it’s very quiet and i t comes after a long evening of noisy, highly dramatic music. We want to make sure the intimacy holds without falling flat.” How does he know he’s succeeding? “There are always some coughs in the audience when the music first s tarts,” he said in an interview last week, “and after a f ew minutes, I hear nothing.” Verdi’s late masterpiece opened the season in a new dark and brooding production directed by Bartlett Sher that is notable for Es Devlin’s sets featuring shifting glass panels and backdrops of storm clouds and t urbulent waves. The cast is led by tenor Aleksandrs A ntonenko in the title role, soprano Sonya Yoncheva as his wife and baritone Zeljko Lucic as his nemesis, Iago. Opera that almost wasn’t After the premiere of Aida , his 26th opera, in 1871, the 58-year-old composer planned to retire. But Verdi was always immensely attracted to Shakespeare, and eventually his publisher got him to look at the libretto Arrigo Boito was working on for Otello . Nezet-Seguin paraphrases Verdi’s exuberant reaction: “This is what I ’ve been waiting for all my life and I must do it!” The resulting work had a triumphant premiere in 1887, and Verdi would compose one more opera, Falstaff , another Shakespeare adaptation by Boito, in 1893. Much earl ier in his career, Verdi had written Macbeth and attempted without success to set King Lear to music. Makeup making news In every previous performance of Otello at the Met, t he title character has been portrayed by a white tenor wearing some version of blackface aimed at making him resemble a Moor. Antonenko is white but he is not wearing any darkening makeup, a decision Met general manager Peter Gelb said was aimed at discarding t he vestiges of a racist tradition. Desdemonia debutantes Yoncheva, a 33-year-old Bulgarian soprano, has had ameteoric rise since her Met debut less than two years a go as Gilda in an earlier Verdi opera, Rigoletto . Over t he years Desdemona has been a vehicle for some auspicious Met debuts, including Renata Tebaldi in 1955, Kiri Te Kanawa in 1974 and Margaret Price in 1985. Where to see it The Met’s HD broadcast will be repeated on Wednesdayat 6:30 p.m. A list of theaters can be found at www.metopera.org. AP Aleksandrs Antonenkoand Sonya Yoncheva appear during a performance of Verdi's Otello at the Metropolitan Opera in New Y ork. Metropolitan Opera presents Verdi’s ‘Otello’ MIKE SILVERMAN ASSOCIATED PRESS Page2C Sunday,October18,2015 DemocratandChronicle. com On TV Tonight LOCAL 7:007:308:008:309:009:3010:0010:3011:0011:3012:0012:30 CBS 8 WROCDT-8.1 (4:25) NFL Foot ball (Live) 60 Minutes “Make-A-Wish”; Darrelle Revis. (N) MadamSec re tary Rusalka Rus sia di lemma. (N) The Good Wife Cooked Case in volv- ing a de signer drug dealer. (N) CSI: Cyber Brown/Blue Eyes Body cam era hacked. (N) News 8 at 11 (N) (:05) Blue Bloods Night on Town Ro man tic week end. BOUNCE 1255 WROCDT 8.2 “The B o dyguard” (‘92, Ro mance) Kevin Costner. Diva’s protector. ‘R’ “Falle n” (‘98, Thri ller) Denzel Wash ington. Copycat killings border on bizarre. ‘R’ “A Sol dier’s Story” (‘84) ‘PG’ NBC 10 WHECDT-10.1 Football Night in Amer ica (Live) (:20) Sunday Night Foot ball NewEng land Pa tri ots atIn di a nap o lis Colts from Lucas Oil Field (Live) News10N BC @ Eleven (N) (:05) Scan dal Black Lady Team plans to save Olivia. 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Rug ged Jus tice Res cue Wa ter (:04) Yel low stone: Battle for Life OXYGEN75 Snapped Yalanda Lind Snapped Cargill Snapped: Killer Cou ples (N) Snapped Amanda Kaur Snapped: Killer Cou ples Cuadra Snapped: She Made Me Do It Horoscopes HOLIDAY MATHIS Solutions Yourbirthdaytoday,Oct. 18: You’re headed to some happy times and personal success in 2016. You’ll like what you do and how you do it. Virgo and Gemini people adore you.Your lucky numbers are: 45, 2, 14, 39 and 7. Aries (March 21-April 19): It’s the ideal time for clear ing up messy arrangements. Separate the facts and lay them out so you can see what you’re dealing with. Taurus (April 20-May 20): Even though complicating things will be detrimental to your interactions, today it is even more detrimental to oversimplify. Gemini (May 21-June 21): The coolest phone on the planet only rings as often as your social life dictates. You’re getting better and better at controlling the ﬂow to support your emotional needs. Cancer (June 22-July 22): The progression has often been that you ask a question and ﬁnd meaning in the answer. Today, instead, you’ll ask a question and ﬁnd meaning in the absence of an answer. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): There are people around, but something causes you to feel so separate and different from them that you don’t want to, or think you cannot, relate. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Once someone agrees with you, it causes you to wonder: AmI actually right? If only more people would wonder such things! Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23): There are rumors that perfection left the planet long ago, and some insist that perfection never did exist in the ﬁrst place. Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21): Your focus will be narrow today, just trying to get a very particular and small deed done correctly.If you’ve made all the mistakes that can be made here, congratulations! Now you’re an expert! Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): How comfortable are you with the ﬂexibility built into this day? If you’re not sure what you want to do, but you know what you want to feel, that’s a good place to start. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Your future includes dynamic inﬂuences.Don’t be surprised if they have you talking and acting differently inside a short period of exposure to them. Imitation is a key to learning. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Mine what you already have instead of chasing potential sources.Today happiness is a ﬁckle faerie who would love to run you around for her own amusement. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): Consistency matters now. Align your words with your actions. The solid logic and comforting repetition involved will engender trust. A rather special responsibility will go to you. WhenI watched today’s deal at the club, East was Grapefruit, our member who sits at the table like a stick of dynamite waiting for someone to light his fuse. He berates his partners without mercy. North could have judged to bid 3NT with his ﬂat hand instead of using Stayman;South probably would have won nine tricks.Against four hearts, West led the king of clubs, and Grapefruit signaled with the seven. West then led a low club (not best): ﬁve, jack, ace. South drew trumps, led a spade to dummy’s jack and took the A-K. When West threw a diamond, South exited with a club. West took the queen, shrugged and cashed the ace of diamonds. South claimed the rest, making game, and Grapefruit was as cross as two sticks. “Lead your last club,” he growled. “I give up a ruff-sluff,” West protested. That was too much for Grapefruit, who erupted like a thunderstorm and told West that if he were any slower, he would be in reverse. There are two times when giving declarer a ruff-sluff cannot cost and may gain: when he has no losers to sluff, and when he will score his remaining trumps separately anyway. When West takes the queen of clubs, South has one trump left in each hand. He can use dummy’s trump to ruff his last spade, so West will lose nothing by letting him ruff a club instead. IfSouth discards a diamond from his hand as dummy ruffs, he will have a spade loser. What West must avoid is cashing the ace of diamonds, which will lose if South has the king. Bridge FRANK STEWART SUDOKU JUMBLE CRYPTOGRAM CROSSWORD A gentleman is one who never strikes a woman without provocation — H. L. Mencken The latter part of “philatelist” (23 Across) is from the Greek for “freedom from charges,” as a stamp indicates prepayment of costs. Copenhagen’s TIVOLI Gardens (74 Across) was named for former amusement parks in Paris, which in turn were named for the gardens in Villa d’Este in Tivoli, Italy. The three Oscar actresses named HELEN (75 Across): Hayes, Hunt and Mirren.