Retired star makes a comeback

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Jon Andrew to become world’s oldest Otello

A retired opera star will be shoving his slippers back under his bed and donning the Otello garb instead for one last time this summer.

The performance will make internationally renowned singer Jon Andrew, 77, the oldest person ever to portray the lead character in Verdi’s opera and will no doubt put him to the test as he has not sung a starring role in any performance since 1982.

Andrew keeps in excellent singing health by working as a voice coach and performing alongside his students in charity concerts in Bournemouth. It was at one of these concerts that David Norman, artistic director of touring company Candlelight Opera who are producing the opera, heard Andrew sing and approached him about rejoining the operatic world.

The last time Andrew sung the eponymous hero in Otello was in 1979. He will take on the role once more at the Royal Bath Hotel in Bournemouth on 14 June.

‘I’ve got to be in better condition than if I was singing in Covent Garden,’ says Andrew in The Times. ‘My memory has to be able to do it without the prompt you would get there. I want to perform like a man of 40, not a man of 77. If it’s not right up there I will disappear and go to Siberia.’