“He betrayed me, he abandoned me — why do I still love him?”
Funny, terrifying, romantic, tragic — Mozart’s setting of the Don Juan story is an opera with everything, including some of the greatest music ever composed for the lyric stage. Is Don Giovanni a rogue or a sociopath? Are his women victims, or willing accomplices? In this new production, dynamic baritone Daniel Okulitch (The Last Savage, 2011), sings the title role. Soprano Leah Crocetto, impressive in Rossini’s Maometto II (2012), sings the Don’s nemesis, Donna Anna. Complex and tormented, the vengeful Donna Elvira is sung by Keri Alkema in her Santa Fe Opera debut. Edgaras Montvidas makes his Santa Fe debut as the loyal and steadfast Don Ottavio. Zerlina — perhaps not quite the bumpkin she seems to be — is sung by Rhian Lois in her American debut. As Leporello, the frustrated servant, we hear bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen in his company debut. Guiding the action is director Ron Daniels, former Associate Director of the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA, who makes his debut with this production. John Nelson (The Marriage of Figaro, 2013) conducts.
Music Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Text Lorenzo da Ponte
Sung in Italian with a SimulText® screen offering instantaneous English or Spanish translation
Standing guard while his master, Don Giovanni, breaks into Donna Anna’s bedroom in order to seduce her, Leporello declares firmly that he wishes to be a servant no longer. Donna Anna rushes out, desperate to discover the identity of her intruder. Her irate father, the Commendatore, challenges the intruder but is mortally wounded, and Don Giovanni and Leporello make their escape. Donna Anna begs Don Ottavio to avenge her father’s death Leporello pleads with his master to reform, but is interrupted by the arrival of a distraught Donna Elvira, whom Don Giovanni has abandoned. Leporello shows her the catalogue of all the women Giovanni has seduced. Don Giovanni and Leporello encounter a group of peasants celebrating the upcoming marriage of Masetto and Zerlina. Don Giovanni vows to marry the young bride himself, but Donna Elvira warns Zerlina not to trust the aristocrat’s promises. Donna Anna suddenly recognizes Don Giovanni as the man who killed her father and begs an incredulous Don Ottavio to kill the murderer. While Don Giovanni looks forward to the pleasures of the evening, a contrite Zerlina begs Masetto to forgive her. They join the other peasants in Don Giovanni’s ballroom. During the dance, Don Giovanni pulls Zerlina aside, and when she cries for help, Donna Anna, Donna Elvira and Don Ottavio prepare to confront the libertine. Don Giovanni again quickly makes his escape.
Declaring that women are more necessary to him than the air he breathes, the irrepressible Don Giovanni changes cloaks with his servant in order to serenade Donna Elvira’s maid. He mischievously urges the disguised Leporello to make love to Donna Elvira who in the moonlight, is fooled into believing the servant is his master. Masetto appears with a band of angry peasants determined to punish Don Giovanni, but he escapes punishment as the peasants take him to be Leporello. When the peasants go off, Don Giovanni beats Masetto. Zerlina tries to comfort her bruised fiancé. Leporello, still wearing his master’s cloak, is surprised by Donna Anna, Don Ottavio, Zerlina and Masetto, who believe him to be Don Giovanni. In vain, Donna Elvira pleads to save his life. But just as they are about to punish him, Leporello throws off his disguise. Don Giovanni escapes worldly punishment once more. Laughing at their exploits, Don Giovanni and Leporello come across the statue of the Commendatore, which mysteriously comes to life, warning Don Giovanni that by morning he will laugh no longer. Don Giovanni forces the terrified Leporello to invite the statue to dinner. Don Ottavio professes his love for Donna Anna but she tells him that they must postpone their marriage until her grief has passed. Donna Elvira makes one last desperate attempt to persuade Don Giovanni to change his dissolute life. Having accepted the invitation to dinner, the Commendatore appears and demands that Don Giovanni repent. When he refuses, the earth opens up and Don Giovanni plunges to his death, punished at last. Donna Elvira, Donna Anna, Don Ottavio, Zerlina and Masetto contemplate their future lives, while Leporello goes in search of a new master.
- Leporello - Kevin Langan
- Donna Anna - Carolyn James
- Don Giovanni - Dwayne Croft
- Commendatore - Stephen West
- Don Ottavio - Mark Thomsen
- Don Ottavio - Stanford Olsen
- Donna Elvira - Susan Chilcott
- Zerlina - Yvonne Gonzales
- Masetto - Herbert Perry
- Conductor - Richard Bradshaw
- Director - Linda Brovsky
- Scenic Designer - Miguel Romero
- Costume Designer - Ann Hould-Ward
- Lighting Designer - Craig Miller
- Choreographer - Kimberly Mackin
- Chorus Master - Gary Wedow