By Kelsey Littlefield
This semester, the College of the Holy Cross is offering a series of interconnected events related to past and current cultural, religious and political conflicts. The centerpiece behind these events is the coffeehouse opera “Othello in the Seraglio” directed by Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, who is a Boston-based, Turkish-American composer, scholar and musician. In addition, Sanlikol is joined by the Boston-based Dünya musicians’ collective, which he founded. These events are sponsored by Arts Transcending Borders (ATB).
The coffeehouse opera will take place tonight at 8 p.m. in Brooks Concert Hall. With 11 musicians and a storyteller, “Othello in the Seraglio” is scaled to the intimate, informal setting of a coffeehouse in 17th-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.
“We hope to match Sanlikol’s stunning mastery of multiple musical languages, on full display in ‘Othello in the Seraglio,’ in our exploration of its social and cultural context through various disciplinary lenses,” said Yonca Karakilic, coordinator of ATB.
Standing room only is available to view the show. Current reservations will be held until 7:45 p.m. on the day of the concert. At that point, it will be first come, first served.