• Dan Rest
  • Johan Botha, off his feet, and Falk Struckmann, in Lyric Opera’s Otello

So it wasn’t just Desdemona that had him out of sorts: Lyric Opera announced today that tenor Johan Botha has been struggling with a bad back and is withdrawing from the last two performances of Otello, set for tomorrow and Saturday.

That’s the second bit of bad luck for this production—his Iago, bass-baritone Falk Struckmann, withdrew after the first act on opening night, felled by allergies, but returned for the rest of the run.

American tenor Clifton Forbis, who has portrayed Otello at Vienna Staatsoper, La Scala, and (with the CSO) at Ravinia, is stepping in for Botha.