The West Australian Opera Company

Image: Maria Basile (Emilia), Robert Regala (Iago), Heather Cooper (Desdemona) & Raphael
Boumaila (Othello) in Jose Limon’s ‘The Moor’s Pavane’ 2012. Photographer: Rob Shomler.


The West Australian Opera Company is one of the nation’s top providers of live music and theatre, and the partnership between Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE) and the company has produced exciting creative and scholarly results. In 2014, CHE and WAO came together with the Black Swan State Theatre Company of Western Australia to offer a unique opportunity for the public, ‘Iago: The Man, The Devil and Emotion’. The event put the spotlight on the character of Iago, central to both Shakespeare’s Othello and Verdi/Boito’s opera Otello. Iago’s role was analysed through scholarly and practical exploration of the changing ways in which drama (through spoken language) and opera (through sung text and music) arouse emotion and depict character. Key presenters were: West Australian Opera's Artistic Director Joseph Colaneri, Professors Kristin Linklater and Bob White (Chief Investigator, CHE), with baritone James Clayton and actors Humphrey Bower and Kenneth Ransom. Deputy Director of CHE, Professor Jane Davidson, chaired the event.