Mozart: Don Giovanni, Dudamel and LA Phil 5/21/12

May 22, 2012

I attended the dress rehearsal of Don Giovanni last Wednesday, 5/16/12, at Disney Concert Hall. This production is something we usually don’t  imagine for opera stage. The Disney stage was divided into two parts, the front for an opera stage, and the back for an orchestra pit (!). The male and female choruses were standing next to the big organ(nickname: French Fries). The stage was so creative and beautiful by Frank Gehry, an architect who created Disney Concert Hall. The materials he uses are basically white paper and white boxes (different sizes), and those simple materials make the Disney Concert Hall stage into a wonderland look. Boxes and paper indicate metaphor in the opera, I think, and it was very effective. Boxes are movable for the stage changes. The lighting (Adam Silverman is a designer) looked very white unrealistically ( I think it is special kind of fluorescent light) and made the stage a spaceship atmosphere. Actually costumes (Kate and Laura Mulleavy are designers) for male singers were like Star Wars, and they walked and acted like robots time to time. Also male singers wore plastic look wigs created by Odile Gilbert. It took a quite while for me to understand the concept. I was sitting the stage right, and the sound was pretty good. I could hear orchestra and singers equally well. When the singers were on the near by box, they were very close to me, a few feet away. The cast is excellent, Mariusz Kwiecien (Don Giovanni), Kevin Burdette (Leporello), Carmela Remigio (Donna Anna), Aga Mikolaj (Donna Elvira), Pavol Breslik (Don Ottavio), Anna Prohaska (Zerlina), and Ryan Kuster (Masetto), and Stefan Kocan (Commendatore). I strongly recommend you to see this production. With this very creative production, often-played opera “Don Giovanni” is fresh and gives us a different perspective.

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