MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

The Rake’s Revels: Don Giovanni Parties It Up in Seattle

Photo (c) Elise Bakketun

Photo (c) Elise Bakketun

Here’s my Bachtrack review of the current Don Giovanni revival in Seattle:

Mozart’s drama about the legendary rake’s egress launches the first season under Seattle Opera’s new general director, Aidan Lang. However, the production originated here in 2007, and the current revival had of course been scheduled well in advance. In other words, it makes no statement about the new Lang era but is instead a reverberation of the Speight Jenkins years.

This production mines the comic possibilities inherent in the essentially picaresque, stop-start narrative pieced together by Da Ponte. The Overture, with its apocalyptic opening section introducing a cheerful, buffa main course, has always posed a musical conundrum, the solution to which, as in Tristan und Isolde, remains deferred until the end of the opera. Yet in Seattle’s McCaw Hall, those foreboding first chords have the effect rather of parentheses, of a statement that’s easily shunted aside until the topic comes up again, in rather nonsequitur fashion, during the grand finale.

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Filed under: Mozart, review, Seattle Opera


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