Spring 2019 


Othello in the Seraglio: The Tragedy of Sümbül the Black Eunuch

Presented by WBUR

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 multi-layered script is by NEC music historian Robert Labaree, while the stunning score, by Boston composer and Grammy nominee Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol, weaves together Italian Baroque and Turkish sources with his own newly-composed music into a tapestry of uncanny beauty. Othello is performed on European period instruments and traditional Turkish instruments by an ensemble of 12 instrumentalists, singers and a dramatic storyteller.

Location, Date/Time, Price:
March 7, CitySpace, 890 Comm. Ave. Boston, MA,
Pre-concert talk with WBUR’s “On-Point” Producer, Stefano Kotsonis: 6:30pm
Show: 7:00pm Admission: $20



Othello in the Seraglio: The Tragedy of Sümbül the Black Eunuch
a coffeehouse opera based on Shakespeare

with an introduction by Helen Greenwald, chair of Music History & Musicology, New England Conservatory

Presented by The Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University

Location, Date/Time, Price: 
March 13, Farkas Hall (The New College Theatre), 10-12 Holyoke St. Cambridge, MA, 7:00pm
Free and open to the public; seating is limited. For more info please click here

AND OTHER SCREENINGS OF Othello in the Seraglio

Locations, Dates/Times, Prices: 
-March 26, New England Conservatory, Plimpton Shattuck Black Box Theatre at 4pm. Further details available here
-March 27, Princeton University, Garden Theater at 6pm. Further details available here
-April 5, Tufts University, Varis Lecture Hall, Granoff Music Center at 12pm. Further details available here

All of the above screenings are made possible by support from





JEWS AND SUFIS: A Shared Musical Tradition
with Edwin Seroussi

Presented by The Katz Center at University of Pennsylvania

Since at least the 16th century, the Turkish maftirim repertoire–Hebrew devotional poetry set to Turkish makam music for use in the synagogue–demonstrates the deep relationships Ottoman Jews established with members of Muslim mystical brotherhoods. Leading scholar, Prof. Edwin Seroussi in a panel of three will speak on cultural, historical, religious and musical aspects of the topic, followed by dialogue with the audience.

The program will conclude with a lively recital featuring an ensemble of Jewish, Muslim and Christian vocalists and instrumentalists demonstrating examples of relevant musical repertoire.

Location, Date/Time, Price: 
March 17, Old Pine Street Church, 412 Pine St. Philadelphia, PA, 2:00pm
Open to the public. To register please click here