At last Saturday’s evening performance of Opera Australia’s Otello, Artistic Director Lydon Terracini took to the stage for one of those announcements that can potentially taint an opera-goer’s night. First came the news that mezzo-soprano Sian Sharp, in the supporting role of Emilia, was indisposed due to a severe throat infection. And then, it appeared to get worse – in the title role, Korean-born tenor Yonghoon Lee had sustained a vertebrae injury from a fall earlier in the day. Sighs from the audience! The next moment, Terracini announced that Lee would perform, with some accommodated directorial adjustments. Relief!

If a maddened, tormented soul wasn’t enough to convey in bristling vocal architecture – and he did that with complete mastery – Lee didn’t disappoint his audience, singing the title role heroically.

Not that it was revival director Luke Joslin’s original intention that Otello spend the bulk of his time either chair bound or shuffling along on a walking stick, but he did in fact allow Lee to give the impression that victory over the Turks in the opening scene didn’t come without injury in battle....