It brings further depth to Othello by giving voice to the characters and addressing potential nuanced undertones to the original story. Desdemona is the joint work of three prominent artists from three different backgrounds: the American writer and winner of the Nobel Prize for literature Toni Morrison, the Malinese singer-songwriter Rokia Traoré and the American director Peter Sellars. Like “My melancholy thoughts are back. Welcome back. The titular role belongs to Desdemona, the famed wife in Othello. In William Shakespeare's Othello, Desdemona is beautiful and young, but also enigmatic: one cannot know exactly why she rejects her numerous Venetian suitors to marry the Moor. I think this is a play that must be seen to be truly treasured and understood. An interesting adaptation but it definitely not a closet drama, I think it would work much better in performance! Credit: New York Times "I was moving down the street – sometimes slowly but, if … Written by Toni Morrison and directed by Peter Sellars, this multimedia project was inspired by the fourth act of Othello, in which Desdemona, facing … ", Meet the Epic and Awesome Authors of Fall's Big Fantasy Novels. Morrison's response to Sellars’ 2009 production of Othello is an intimate dialogue of words and music between Desdemona and her African nurse Barbary. The story of Desdemona from Shakespeare's Othello is re-imagined by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, Malian singer and songwriter Rokia Traoré, and acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars. 504 Angela Street. Desdemona by Toni Morrison - Alibris Buy Desdemona by Toni Morrison online at Alibris. The story of Desdemona from William Shakespeare's "Othello" is reimagined by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, Malian singer and songwriter Rokia Traore, and acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars. Desdemona as a performance product was a unique theatrical experience. Challenges: May 2020 - 21/31 books. Refresh and try again. After, I really started thinking about it, though, and finding different themes to use for my Shakespeare project I began to like it. Kept from a 5 because of the density and the brevity. The 2011 play arose from a collaboration between Morrison, director Peter Sellars, and musician Rokia Traoré, and revolves around Desdemona's relationship with the African nurse who raised her. About the Author Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. It's a brilliant but underdeveloped response to Shakespeare's most troubling play. NANTERRE, France — A decade ago Toni Morrison, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist, and Peter Sellars, the experimental theater and opera director, got into a … Morrison's text, a series of monologues and dialogues spoken by an actress who plays Desdemona and channels various other characters, alternates with songs written and performed by Traoré, a renowned Malian singer and composer. Morrison's response to Sellars' 2009 production of Othello is an intimate dialogue of words and music between Desdemona and her African nurse Barbary. Desdemona is a play that first debuted at Theater Akzent in Vienna, Austria in 2011 and published in 2012 by Oberon Books. (Having not experienced the live music I, I wish it were longer, and I wish I could have seen it live in 2011 rather than read it now. Toni Morrison says the most important thing in writing Desdemona was to remove Iago's 'white male gaze'. I was wary, as I have a checkered history with Toni Morrison’s novels, but this short dramatic piece is revelatory. Shakespeare's Othello, reinvented in a play by nobel-prize winner Toni Morrison. It was first produced in Vienna in May 2011. Shakespeare's Othello, reinvented in a play by nobel-prize winner Toni Morrison. i do know, though, that from a first read, i didn’t... like it? But I did enjoy seeing an old work through new eyes, though. I thoroughly enjoyed it on literary, dramatic, psychological, and philosophical levels. A beautiful collaboration with Toni Morrison (writer), Rokia Traore (Mali musician/composer) and Peter Sellars (director). In Desdemona, Toni Morrison’s response to Shakespeare’s Othello, which opens today at the Melbourne Festival, we are invited to do something – something it seems we are being invited to do as audiences of tragedy ever more: to listen. Desdemona explores her life before and after the events of Othello. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published Morrison's response to Sellars’ 2009 production of Othello is an intimate dialogue of words and music between Desdemona and her African nurse Barbary. However, I think it lost a lot of its impact because - as a play - it was designed to be performed, rather than read and I read it. The story of Desdemona from Shakespeare's Othello is re-imagined by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, Malian singer and songwriter Rokia Traoré, and acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars. 1, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Desdemona_(play)&oldid=966004635, Articles with dead external links from November 2019, Articles with permanently dead external links, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, May 15, 17-21, 2011 - Theater Akzent - Vienna, Austria, May 26–29, 2011 - Theatre Royal Flamand (KVS) - Brussels, Belgium, October 13–21, 2011 - Nanterre-Amandiers theatre, Nanterre, France, October 26–29, 2011 - Zellerbach Playhouse, Berkeley, United States, November 2–3, 2011 - Rose Theater - New York, United States, November 10–12, 2011 - Haus der Berliner Festspiele - Berlin, Germany, July 2012 - Barbican Centre - London, England, June 11-13 2013 - Holland Festival, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, November 2013 - Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts: School of Drama - Kingston, Jamaica, October 16–19, 2015 - Southbank Theatre, Melbourne, Australia, April 16, 2019 - Sanders Theater, Cambridge, MA, This page was last edited on 4 July 2020, at 18:22. ), i usually write very punchy one-sentence reviews intended to be humorous, but i cant do that here. Far more experimental than my normal read but I really enjoyed this one. by Oberon Books. She has also received the National Critics … It also happens to be the afterlife of Othello himself, and a few other people. The story of Desdemona from Shakespeare's Othello is re-imagined by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, Malian singer and songwriter Rokia Traoré, and acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars. Definitely made me look at Shakespeare's Othello in a different light. I have to read it for my Shakespeare class but I enjoyed the writing and it made me want to read more from Toni Morrison. first, i love toni morrison and i think reading her books has changed me for the better as a person; her way with words is fierce and cutting and so beautiful and sharp it borders on glorious, merging emotional horror with exceptionally vivid grotesque imagery to create truly unforgettable pieces. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. I will definitely read this again one day, because it was so dense that it's hard to review fully objectively. Desdemona by Toni Morrison 413 ratings, 3.80 average rating, 40 reviews Desdemona Quotes Showing 1-3 of 3 “We will be judged by how well we love.” ― Toni Morrison, Desdemona. Morrison's response to Sellars’ 2009 production of Othello is an intimate dialogue of words and music between Desdemona and her African nurse Barbary. The words of Emilia and Sa’Ran especially shined a new light on Desdemona and her place in Venetian society, Shakespeare’s play, and this text. The official playscript of Desdemona was published in 2012 by Oberon Books, with a foreword written by the director Peter Sellars. This reimagining of Desdemona (from Othello) was interesting with race, class and gender all featuring prominently. Toni Morrison was born in Lorain, Ohio, to Ramah (née Willis) and George Wofford.She was the second of four children from a working-class, black family. All three plays have highly divergent interpretations of the character of Desdemona. ), As one who still calls Othello her favorite of Shakespeares plays, I was embarrassed that I didnt know this work existed. I wanted more in the kind of way that I didn't want it to end. Throughout Desdemona, Morrison constructs a magical realist model for self-liberation by removing the previously established natural social order. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Paul Rae will chair After Tragedy, Listening: A roundtable response to Toni Morrison’s Desdemona on … It's a high 4 for me. (And yes, I'm channelling Harold Bloom here. tags: judgement, love. Wonderfully written. I started a d finished this yesterday. Desdemona and Othello come to terms in the place of undeath and Desdemona understands her participation in her murder. What Morrison begins to do in fleshing out Desdemona's preparation for loving Othello and Othello's back story is brilliant; I wish she had done more. I enjoyed performing it and got so much more from it in action than in reading. Life and career Early years. What Morrison begins to do in fleshing out Desdemona's preparation for loving Othello and Othello's back story is brilliant; I wish she had done more. However, I think it lost a lot of its impact because - as a play - it was designed to be performed, rather than read and I read it. Stage manager notes would help clarify staging. The story of Desdemona from Shakespeare's Othello is re-imagined by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, Malian singer and songwriter Rokia Traoré, and acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars. I think this is a play that must be seen to be truly treasured and understood. She is 'playing in the light,' as it turns out. Toni Morrison’s writing is incredible, but not being able to hear the music that weaves into the play while reading was difficult. I was wary, as I have a checkered history with Toni Morrisons novels, but this short dramatic piece is revelatory. Othello and Iago's "secret," Desdemona's Barbary, these additions to Othello both increase and decrease the agency of the women. “My mother had a maid called Barbary, She was in love, and he she loved proved mad And did forsake her. Morrison's response to Sellars’ 2009 production of Othello is an intimate dialogue of words and music between Desdemona and her African nurse Barbary. Toni Morrisons writing is incredible, but not being able to hear the music that weaves into the play while reading was difficult. Morrison’s story is fascinating, the music, with its dreamy spa quality and tribal African beat, is mesmorizing, and the talent is prodigious. Start by marking “Desdemona” as Want to Read: Error rating book. I appreciate the insights this text offers into the character Desdemona but I'm not quite sure I would call it a play. Short but good commentary and savage burns. [8], Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), "Toni Morrison's 'Desdemona' and Peter Sellars's 'Othello, "Oppressed voices ring out in Morrison's 'Othello, "Music theater review: Peter Sellars' 'Desdemona' at Berkeley", "Desdemona's Riveting Multi-Dimensional Truths", "Toni Morrison's Desdemona delivers a haunting, powerful "re-membering, "Theatre Royal Flamand (KVS) - Brussels, Belgium", "Zellerbach Playhouse, Berkeley, United States", "Haus der Berliner Festspiele - Berlin, Germany", "Year of Shakespeare: Desdemona - Blogging Shakespeare", https://www.facebook.com/events/356341841646325/, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination, Race-ing Justice, En-Gendering Power: Essays on Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas and the Construction of Social Reality, Birth of a Nation'hood: Gaze, Script, and Spectacle in the O. J. Simpson Case, Remember: The Journey to School Integration, The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations, Othello Ballet Suite/Electronic Organ Sonata No. Side Bar of Aqua. So, Sellars staged Othello and Morrison said she would find a way “to talk back to Shakespeare”.. The title character of the play is Desdemona, the wife of the title character in Shakespeare's Othello. It is not an exaggeration to compare this to William Blake's re-reading of Paradise Lost. Reading Toni Morrison 2020 - Bonus read. The re-imagined female characters of Shakespeare's play Othello whereby Morrison gives voice, agency, and story to Desdemona as well as her mother, Othello's mother, Barbary (Desdemona's African nurse), Bianca (Cassio's lover) and Emilia (Iago's wife/Desdemona's maid servant). Last year in London, I was bowled over by Euripides’ Medea, adapted for the National Theatre by Ben Powers. Absolutely stunning language in many moments, wonderful moments of radical afterlife honesty that allow the script to be flipped, the stories complicated (albeit sometimes didactically). The story of Desdemona from Shakespeare's Othello is re-imagined by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, Malian singer and songwriter Rokia Traoré, and acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars. first, i love toni morrison and i think reading her books has changed me for the better as a person; her way with words is fierce and cutting and so beautiful and sharp it borders on glorious, merging emotional horror with exceptionally vivid grotesque imagery to create truly unforgettable pieces. If you love the fantasy genre, this is the season for you! In this collaborative effort, Morrison gives Desdemona from Othello, a more deserving titular role. The re-imagined female characters of Shakespeare's play Othello whereby Morrison gives voice, agency, and story to Desdemona as well as her mother, Othello's mother, Barbary (Desdemona's African nurse), Bianca (Cassio's lover) and Emilia (Iago's wife/Desdemona's maid servant). [1] The title character of the play is Desdemona, the wife of the title character in Shakespeare's Othello. Viewed some portions of the play and music on YouTube. It's a brilliant but underdeveloped response to Shakespeare's most troubling play. Toni Morrison's play, Desdemona, is a brilliant and powerful re-reading of Othello. October 23rd 2012 Nobel Prize-winning novelist, Toni Morrison, gives voice to one of Shakespeare's most mysterious characters in this inventive and lyrical retelling of Desdemona's life and murder by her husband Othello. i know this work has value and i want to hear what my Black peers have to say about it, because i know. Context / Reception: The story goes that Toni Morrison and Peter Sellars (who is an experimental theater director) got into an argument about Othello – Sellars said it had outlived its usefulness and Morrison said he was wrong. We’d love your help. In Toni Morrison's 2012 play, however, Desdemona's voice and story dominate the stage. Only Toni Morrison could write such a response to Othello, one which resolves the tragedy Shakespeare couldn't. My best friend has been recommending me her books since we became friends. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. I am not a huge fan of the character Desdemona or Othello, but I really like Emilia and Sa'ran. Othello and Iago's "secret," Desdemona's Barbary, these additions to Othello both increase and decrease the agency of the women. 3 likes. Morrison's play marks the third major play focusing on Shakespeare's Desdemona composed by a modern female playwright, following Desdemona: A Play about a Handkerchief (1993) by Paula Vogel, and Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) (1988) by Ann-Marie MacDonald. I’m sure the song sections especially would have been better seen performed. With "Desdemona," a play that opened earlier this week, the Nobel laureate Toni Morisson probes the hidden suffering and occult oppression woven into Shakespeare's tale Othello. The words of Emilia and SaRan especially shined a new light on Desdemona and her place in Venetian society, Shakespeares play, and this text. But I did enjoy seeing an old work through new eyes, though. Desdemona, in Morrison’s update, reaches out to Barbary to explain that it was through their early contact that she was able to transcend the racial prejudices of her people and marry Othello. We have new and used copies available, in 1 editions - starting at $13.45. This reimagining of Desdemona (from Othello) was interesting with race, class and gender all featuring prominently. She is the author of many novels, including The Bluest Eye, Beloved (made into a major film), Paradise and, most recently, Home. Touching, and interesting to get another interpretation of one of my favourite of Shakespeare's characters. The work was a team effort consisting of Toni Morrison, Rokia Traoré, and Peter Sellars. Very thought provoking and. In Toni Morrison’s creation, Desdemona is no longer a teenager but a mature woman with perspective and the opportunity to gradually recognize and let go of her own illusions. The original production toured theater festivals around the world in 2012. She is now given an astonishing and provocative further voice by Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, who reveals secrets in Othello that will change forever our reading of the play. […] I would consider this more of a character study. Be the first to ask a question about Desdemona. I'm sure we miss a lot by just reading it without hearing what appears to be significant musical accompaniment, but fans of Morrison won't want to miss out. I thoroughly enjoyed it on literary, dramatic, psychological, and philosophical levels. The story of Desdemona from Shakespeare's Othello is reimagined by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, Malian singer and songwriter Rokia Traore, and acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars. Desdemona and Othello come to terms in the place of undeath and Desdemona understands her participation in her murder. Yes...Time we heard the women’s perspective... Hard to imagine really loving this without hearing the songs, but overall it's an interesting, if slightly abstract, take on Othello. In the case of Toni Morrison's Desdemona; misery is the curse for having but one life after gaining wisdom in death. The text “ my mother had a maid called Barbary, she in. We love we became friends can’t do that here Desdemona and Othello come terms... 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