Otello opened the 2009/2010 season in spectacular style. Verdi spent seven of his twilight years on the work, which represents the pinnacle of Italian tragic opera. It is based on the Shakespeare tragedy. Producer Mario Martone switched the setting from Cyprus to Venice, and oversaw the creation of a spider web of canals on stage filled with 50 tons of water. The visual representation of Otello's delusions and the sinister plot laid out by Iago is achieved through the manipulation of color and the appearance of the water surface. This beautiful, moving production is sure to become an audience favorite among the NNTT repertoire. The challenging role of Otello will be performed by Walter Fraccaro. Fraccaro's fine, muscular voice reverberated through the hall during his previous NNTT appearances, when he performed Calaf in Turnadot and Radames in Aida. Fraccaro will also be performing Manrico in the season-opener, Il Trovatore. The audience can also look for strong performances by Japanese artists including Matsui Hiroshi and Ohara Keiro in supporting roles.