Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’ at Mason Stage

Arriving Saturday, Sunday at Center for the Arts from Virginia Opera.

Aiming to seduce audiences with its luscious memorable music, arresting comedy and challenging characters, Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” features one of opera’s most suave rogues. He is a shameless nobleman who outrages the women and men who encounter him as he journeys along his chosen path; a lustful life.

Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” has been a treasure for centuries. It remains one of the most performed operas in the world. Last performed by Virginia Opera in 2010, “Don Giovanni” returns to the Center for the Arts full of bright comedy, tragedy and a journey to an ultimate fate.

With Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” as with all Mozart works, “there is an abundance of humor and beauty, leading to endless discoveries and fresh insights,” said Adam Turner, Artistic Director, Virginia Opera and conductor of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra for the production.

“Mozart’s soundscape reflects this constant back and forth between the serious and light qualities; particularly with the orchestra serving as sort of a ‘Greek chorus’, offering poetic and witty commentary throughout,” said Turner. “The opera requires vocal pyrotechnics and deeply committed characterizations from singing actors. The virtuosity demanded by Mozart's score is unparalleled.

“And now, more than ever, Mozart’s masterpiece offers us the opportunity to reflect upon current day conversations, particularly inspired by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Mozart and “Don Giovanni” may not have changed, but we have,” noted Turner.

Lillian Groag directs Virginia Opera’s “Don Giovanni.” The production will showcase talented young singers making their Virginia Opera mainstage debuts. They include baritone Tobias Greenhalgh as Don Giovanni, bass-baritone Zachary Altman as manservant Leporello, and soprano Rachelle Durkin as Donna Anna and former Emerging Artist Sarah Larsen as Donna Elvira

“Don Giovanni” is complex with characters who want to do their own thing. “Everyone wants to break the rules,” said Groag. The opera “endures because it is so funny - the definition of slapstick comedy. You will be laughing for an hour and a half then it turns abruptly. It has supernatural elements, terrifying moments and the most wonderful music in the world.”

“There's a reason audiences love watching Mozart's operas - it's like attending a sporting event, waiting for the performer to "cross the finish line" or "execute the triple axel" - exhilarating and electrifying performances at the highest artistic level.” added Turner. “I hope that audiences are thoroughly entertained and engaged by this production.”

Virginia Opera presents Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” at Center for the Arts, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. Performances; Saturday, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 11, at 2 p.m. Visit www.cfa.gmu.edu or call: 888-945-2468.

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