Othello on BBC2

In December 2009 I was in the chorus for the Birmingham Opera Company production of Verdi’s Othello. Just over a year later and it’s now finally being screened on BBC 2 tomorrow, Saturday February 19th at 16:25.


Othello chorus. Photo by Fiona Cullinan

Graham Vick’s radical production of Verdi’s Othello for Birmingham Opera Company. Set in a former industrial plant, the action unfolds in and around the audience. Ronald Samm plays Othello – the first time a black tenor has sung the title role in a professional staging of the opera in the UK. Two hundred and fifty people from Birmingham perform as chorus, dancers and actors alongside the professional principals and orchestra in a production which deals head-on with issues of identity, race and fear.

So, tune in, break out a bottle of sherry, get cultured and watch something truly amazing!


The production of Othello is going really well. We’re four performances in and have already received positive reviews from the Guardian, Telegraph and Times and generally positive reviews from friends and attendees.

opera-49 (by Katchooo)

Othello chorus. Photo by Fiona Cullinan

Unless you have bought a ticket unfortunately there’s no way to see it as all of the tickets have now sold out, but that only reiterates the popularity of the productions by the Birmingham Opera Company.

I’ve been to their last two productions (La Traviata and Idomeneo) and, after a bit of coaxing from friends and loved ones, I decided to take part in Othello. So, why am I doing it? I’ve been known to dabble in acting occasionally but this venture requires an additional set of skills that I’m not really known to have. There’s one main overriding reason why I’m doing it:

It’s fun.

Sure, it looks good to have Birmingham Opera Company on my CV, but in my overall goal to become more of a software/digital artist I feel being part of the opera only indirectly helps. If you’re an aspiring performer or singer then you should already know why you should be part of this 😉

My main point is that regardless of what background you’re from there’s a lot to be learnt and a lot of fun to be had. You’ll meet a great range of people, learn what goes into making a production and may discover a hidden singing or acting talent.

So, I’ll see you at rehearsals for the next production next year!