by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Arena di Verona
June 22nd (Première), 29th – 9.15 p.m.
July 6th, 12th, 18th, 25th – 9.15 p.m.
Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart inaugurates the 90th Arena di Verona Opera Festival 2012. For this new set design, Maestro Franco Zeffirelli is director and stage designer, while Maurizio Millenotti is the costumes designer. Also this year, the acclaimed conductor M° Daniel
Oren makes his comeback at the Arena di Verona. Choreographies are by Maria Grazia Garofoli, while Paolo Mazzon is the lighting designer.
Don Giovanni, whose performance and composer are absolutely new for the Arena di Verona stage, is a great challenge for the Fondazione Arena di Verona, and it is welcomed with great enthusiasm by Maestro Zeffirelli. The director measures himself with this opera for the ninth time in his long career, which started in 1957: it is crazy, he says, but he is confident that «the Arena is the place where theatrical miracles and unexpected events take place».
In fact, he loves quoting: «A masterpiece is always a new opportunity, it happens every time the curtain raises». And according to Zeffirelli, as for Goethe, Don Giovanni is the most beautiful opera ever created, an unsolved mystery which gives the possibility to express great emotional and interpretational ideas: thanks to its well-known melodies, it can also be a very popular opera, despite of its score, which is difficult for the great spaces of the Arena amphitheatre.
For 6 performances, starting from 22nd June up to 25th July, great performers of the international opera scene are involved in this masterpiece by Mozart. In Don Giovanni’s role we will see different voices who are very familiar to this character: Ildebrando D’Arcangelo (22 nd and 29th June – 6th and 25th July) and Erwin Schrott (12th and 18th July). The three seduced women will be interpreted by Anna Samuil as Donna Anna, Carmen Giannattasio (22nd and 29th June – 6th July) and Maria Agresta (12th, 18th and 25th July) as Donna Elvira, and Geraldine Chauvet (22nd and 29th
June – 12th and 18th July) and Christel Lötzsch (6th and 25th July) as Zerlina. As the servant Leporello Bruno de Simone (22nd and 29th June – 18th and 25th July) and Marco Vinco (6th and 12th July). Don Ottavio will be interpreted by Saimir Pirgu for all the performances, while the jealous Masetto will be performed by Vincenzo Taormina (22nd and 29th June – 6th July) and Deyan Vatchkov (12th, 18th and 25th July). The Commander, who will come back at the end of the opera as the Stone Guest, in order to punish the protagonist, will be interpreted by Paata Burchuladze (22nd June) and Gudjon Oskarsson (29th June – 6th, 12th, 18th, 25th July).
On stage all the artistic sectors – Orchestra Choir and Corps de Ballet – and technicians of the Arena di Verona, together with several extra characters. The Choir is conducted by M° Armando Tasso, the Corps de Ballet by Maria Grazia Garofoli, and Giuseppe De Filippi Venezia is the director of stage design.
Special thanks to Rubelli for the fabric supply for Don Giovanni costumes.
Il dissoluto punito o sia il Don Giovanni, as the original title, is an operatic dramma giocoso in two acts, with libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, composed by Mozart in 1787 and performed for the first time in Prague on 29th October of the same year, with everlasting success. It has allthe characteristics of the opera buffa, with its realism and its popular characters, but it also has
some supernatural elements: the statue who, invited for dinner by Don Giovanni, will drag him to eternal damnation. And it is exactly this mixing of tragic what will show the two sides of the same coin. Don Giovanni is an opera of great revelations and tremendous lies: It is enough to have just some sensibility to be overwhelmed by it. This is exactly what happened to the most famous adventurer of the 18th Century, Giacomo Casanova, who made a variation of the scene in which Leporello is put on the spot by the other characters, in the second act.
In order to set a story which sees a quick succession of different scenarios, Franco Zeffirelli turns the Arena di Verona into a majestic palace, and we always see its façade as the only scenic structure, continually changing its aspects according to the different situations. The representation
shows us an always-on-the-run Don Giovanni, who does not seem to be acting in the present, but in a distant dimension, almost higher than the human one. He is a God of carnal love, the king of those men who cannot live without exerting male arrogance. He is much more than a seducer or the personification of it with the name “dongiovanni”. But the one performed in the opera may be defined as a kind of decadent sexuality, described in the very last moments as a series of failures, up to eternal damnation, which makes the protagonist become a simple «punished rake», an inverted apotheosis of punishment.
22nd, 29th June (9.15 p.m.) – 6th, 12th, 18th, 25th July (9.15 p.m.)
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Ildebrando D’Arcangelo (22, 29 June – 6, 25 July)
Erwin Schrott (12, 18 July)
Paata Burchuladze (22 June)
Gudjon Oskarsson (29 June – 6, 12, 18, 25 July)
Carmen Giannattasio (22, 29 June – 6 July)
Maria Agresta (12, 18, 25 July)
Bruno de Simone (22, 29 June – 18, 25 July)
Marco Vinco (6, 12 July)
Vincenzo Taormina (22, 29 June – 6 July)
Deyan Vatchkov (12, 18, 25 July)
Geraldine Chauvet (22, 29 June – 12, 18 July)
Christel Lötzsch (6, 25 July)
Director and sets designer
Maria Grazia Garofoli
Arena di Verona Orchestra, Chorus, Corps de ballet and Technicians
FONDAZIONE ARENA DI VERONA NEW STAGE DESIGN