Buona sera tutti!!
Thank you for joining us this evening for our long-postponed version of Mozart’s Don Giovanni! This show was slated for May 2020 and postponed four times, which gave us plenty of time to develop a truly unique version that you will see tonight. Over the past few years, we all have witnessed real-life Don Giovannis surface in the media, as countless news stories have surfaced of powerful womanizers who use their influence and status to abuse and assault younger women (and men). While this isn’t a social commentary piece, these stories were far too parallel to miss the opportunity to bring it to life through opera.
The bigger issue at the forefront of this piece is that of mental illness and disillusionment. Our central protagonist “Harvey” Giovanni is not only suffering from a form of schizophrenia, but his abuse of drugs and alcohol has him having awful nightmares and seeing things in his daily life. The dream at the beginning of the show of him raping a woman and killing her father continues to haunt him throughout the opera, as these visions continuously appear wherever he goes. His insanity seems to affect everyone around him - so much that his PA Leporello, begins to suffer from similar disillusioned visions.
The stability and understanding of Don Ottavio shows us that Giovanni does have some good qualities (is he a good man that just does some bad things?) On the other hand, the instability and craze of Donna Anna represents the worst characteristics of Giovanni.The question we’re left to answer at the end is simple: how real are each of our demons and do we have the power to control them?
Enjoy the show,
Dr. Joshua R. Wentz
Artistic & Executive Director