Despite what Beethoven expressed about the vulgarity of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, he kept sketches of the music in his notebooks. And whether it is Mozart or the Don who seduces us, we are always taken to more dangerous places by good performances. We prefer to be left in such places, and like productions which omit the anticlimactic, didactic, moralizing final ensemble. To see the rake punished and be left with that image is unsurpassed as theater. It’s a good idea to get an aisle seat so you can dash for the exit as the flames of conflagration smolder.
The BU Opera Institute will give the dissolute rake another moment to prance upon the boards. Having seen many of BU’s opera productions over the years, and having found them of consistently rewarding quality, we are happy to point readers to their upcoming production.
The School of Music Opera Institute and the School of Theatre at Boston University College of Fine Arts present Don Giovanni, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s tale of seduction and abandonment — April 17-20, 2014. Their press release follows.
A classic story originally set in 18th Century Seville, Spain, BU School of Theater and School of Music Opera Institute bring an evolved Don Giovanni into a contemporary dynamic space to tell this story. “The set is modern, the clothes are modern, and the attitudes are more modern than the era in which Moliere wrote his play or Mozart and DaPonte wrote their opera,” says Daniel Pelzig, Stage Director.
In the classic opera, Don Giovanni, with more than two thousand seductions behind him and no end in sight, becomes increasingly reckless as he descends into excess and immortality. But when his antics turn fatal and unrepentant, the women he has discarded seek revenge and it is ultimately served up by a hellish supernatural force.
“While Don Juan may meet his end, the tale itself seems eternal,” added Deborah Burton, Assistant Professor of Music at Boston University College of Fine Arts. “Whether it is the latest film takeoff (like 2013’s Don Jon) or an updated operatic performance, the echoes of the old story still resonate.”
“Seeing that the Opera Institute is a company of young and energetic singers, I only thought it appropriate to approach the opera with a youthful vibrancy and Gen-X edginess,” added Pelzig
“As we celebrate this year’s Keyword Transformation, we rededicate ourselves as performances, teachers, creators, and citizens to share the transformative power of art,” says William Lumpkin, Artistic Director of the Boston University Opera Institute. “Although the artistic journey is never complete, we proudly recognized this opportunity to proclaim the substance of this next generation of artists who will continue to transform the world.”
Transformation is marked by metamorphosis, or a process of profound or radical change.
“It is through the process that we think, engage, and find solutions,” said Benjamín Juárez, Dean, College of Fine Arts, Boston University. “And it is through this process that our art takes shape, and we as artists grow.”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer
Lorenzo Da Ponte, librettist
William Lumpkin, conductor
Daniel Pelzig, guest stage director
Thursday, April 17th, 7:30pm
Friday, April 18th, 7:30pm
Saturday, April 19th, 7:30pm
Sunday, April 20th, 2pm
Venue: Boston University Theatre (264 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA)
(Tickets: $20 general public; $15 BU Alumni, WBUR and WGBH members, Huntington Theatre subscribers, and senior citizens; $10 CFA Membership; $5 students with valid ID. Two free tickets with BU ID at the door).