Last week, opera enthusiasts had a rare opportunity to view the just-released watercolor renditions of “Otello” characters, costumes and sets. Presented by the Opera Guild of Southern Arizona, two opera preview events displayed the watercolor images, created in the late 1800s and known in Italian as “figurini.”

They were presented by Carol Garrard and used with special permission from the American Institute of Verdi Studies at New York University and the La Scala opera house. OGSA audiences were able to see up close how composer Giuseppe Verdi envisioned his original cast of characters prior to the premiere of his operatic masterpiece in 1887.

The opera previews were held at the Oro Valley Public Library and at Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church to standing-room-only audiences.

The Arizona Opera Company will present “Otello” on March 5-6. For ticket information, call 293-4336 or visit

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