PASSION and danger take centre stage as Scottish Opera brings a vivid new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni to audiences this Autumn.
This dark legend of seduction is directed by Sir Thomas Allen – who has made Don Giovanni his signature role on stage, having performed the part over 100 times – and is designed by the award-winning Simon Higlett.
The pair’s trademark flair for great storytelling has already thrilled audiences across Scotland over recent seasons with their definitive productions for Scottish Opera of The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute – and now they turn their attentions to Mozart’s most dramatic masterpiece.
Allen and Higlett have chosen to move away from Don Giovanni’s traditional backdrop of Seville in favour of the mysterious backstreets of 17th century Venice, full of corruption, lust and darkness.
The Don leads us and his servant Leporello through its backstreets and canals, and into shadows and danger. It is here that he meets and sets his sights on Donna Anna. When her father intervenes, it costs him his life and Don Giovanni must flee. But as the shadows close in and the mistakes of his past begin to catch up with him, the Don’s tangled web of lies and betrayal begins to unravel.
The cast balances experience with exciting new talent. Jacques Imbrailo – described by The Times as “the hottest young baritone on the block” – is Don Giovanni, and the internationally-renowned Peter Kalman is his Leporello.
Susan Gritton is Donna Anna and acclaimed Scottish soprano Lisa Milne returns to Scottish Opera for the first time since 2005’s Semele to sing Donna Elvira. Dynamic new conductor Speranza Scappucci makes her Scottish Opera debut conducting The Orchestra of Scottish Opera.
Director, Sir Thomas Allen, said:
“It feels as if my work with Scottish Opera up until now has been leading me to this most exciting prospect, that of reacquainting myself with the old devil that is Don Giovanni.
“The Don, ever an elusive character, occupies my thoughts disproportionately to this day. With the prospect of each new production I always set myself the challenge of beginning from scratch, wiping the slate clean, and telling myself that I must invent him anew every time.
“It’s not a problem to sing the role. The musical demands are relatively straightforward. But playing the man is another matter requiring a quicksilver ability to change mood and direction in a heartbeat.
“No-one should be comfortable around the Don – audience and cast alike. We plan the moves of a production, but the man himself must remain supple, ready to invent with every minuscule change in the chemistry of the human condition.
“This changeability is something that should lie within every staged performance but seldom does. From the very outset I want the performers to feel they are in a work that evolves from night to night.
“So, Don Giovanni will be well rehearsed, of course, but more importantly, I want it to be a living, changing entity.”
General director of Scottish Opera, Alex Reedijk, said:
“Don Giovanni is one of the most important operas in the canon, and I can think of nobody better to lead us through this tale than Sir Thomas Allen.
“It’s the title that I have most wanted to see him present ever since he first directed for us with The Barber of Seville in 2007. It’s a huge honour that he will be looking at Don Giovanni from the other side of the curtain for the first-time for Scottish Opera’s audiences.”
Notes to Editors
1 – Don Giovanni will be sung in Italian with English supertitles
2 – Running Time approximately three hours and 15 minutes
3 – Don Giovanni is supported by The Scottish Opera Syndicate and Scottish Opera’s ‘Play a Supporting Role’ Appeal
Theatre Royal, Glasgow
Tue 15 Oct, Fri 18 Oct 7.15pm, Tue 22 Oct, Thu 24 Oct, Sat 26 Oct 7.15pm
Sun 20 Oct 4.00pm
Don Giovanni Unwrapped Thu 17 Oct 6.00pm
Pre-show talk Sat 26 Oct 6.00pm
His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
Thu 31 Oct, Sat 2 Nov 7.30pm
Don Giovanni Unwrapped Fri 1 Nov 6.00pm
Pre-show talk Sat 2 Nov 6.00pm
Eden Court, Inverness
Thu 7 Nov,Sat 9 Nov 7.15pm
Don Giovanni Unwrapped Fri 8 Nov 6.00pm
Pre-show talk Sat 9 Nov 6.00pm
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Thu 14 Nov, Tue 19 Nov, Thu 21 Nov, Sat 23 Nov 7.15pm
Sun 17 Nov 4.00pm
Don Giovanni UnwrappedFri 15 Nov 6.00pm
Pre-show talk Sat 23 Nov 6.00pm
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Contact: Emma York
Phone: 0141 242 0552