Italian Opera Comes to Chester County: Jago!

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The International Opera Theater is preparing to premiere the first Italian opera written by a living composer to be presented in the US in almost 100 years!

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Learn how you can help by clicking the read more button below.

International Opera Theater’s JAGO
Starts Where Verdi’s OTELLO Ends

MEDIA, PENNSYLVANIA:  The murderer Jago, villain of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Otello, awaits execution in a dank prison cell, encased in his own 15-year vow of silence.  A child, son of Jago’s prison guard, makes his way to the cell, and a relationship develops between the two which will forever change both lives.  This is the crux of the new storyline written by International Opera Theater’s founder and artistic director, Karen Saillant, for the American premiere of Jago, May 30, 31 and June 1 at the Media Theatre in Media, Pennsylvania.

Composed by Carlo Pedini, with a libretto by Lucio Lironi, Jago (pronounced “Iago”) is IOT’s homage to Verdi for the great composer’s 200th birthday.   This marks the first American performance of the opera, originally premiered by IOT in Italy in 2009.   Following Media, the entire Jago company goes to Citta di Saluzzo, Italy, for a June 7th  presentation.

Founded in 2003, International Opera Theater, based in both Philadelphia and Italy, has engaged artists from 36 cultures to create sustainable costumes, kinetic art sets, and self-discovery-based projects that have resulted in 10 world premieres.  The composer and the librettist, along with orchestra conductor Gianmaria Griglio, are all Italian.  Of the lead singers, baritone Galen Scott Bower and tenor Thomas DeHorney are from the USA, tenor Paolo Antognetti is from Italy, and Soprano Sharon Zhai is from China. The youngest member of the cast is 13-year-old Graeme Brown of Chestnut Hill, already a veteran talent of four operas with Opera Philadelphia and numerous solos with Keystone State Boychoir. 

IOT is the brainchild of Karen Saillant and the center of her life. A classical soprano who trained and performed in Italy, she has a passionate, interdisciplinary approach that stresses opera as a powerful force for transformation.  “We want goose bumps,” she says, “and we are relentless in their pursuit!  After all, we are ‘Opera That Moves’.” 

 You can also see the IOT in the March issue of USAirways Magazine.

Jago tickets  $45-$75, Media Theatre, 104 E. State Street, Media, PA 19063
Contact (610) 891-0100  or e-mail, or 

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Karen Sailant at

Current sponsors include:

 Alfredo’s Italian BYO in Berwyn, 

Sorella Boutique in Media, 

Media Presbyterian Church, 

Philadelphia International Institute

Women in Motion (Dee Rogevich),

Ruth Santiago and Plan Ahead Events in Montco

Fabulous Shoe Night in Media, 

Cinthia Costa Photography, 

Local Home and Gift in Media 

Cambio Salon Spa

Meghan Kelly

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