Posted on 24 February, 2012
24, 25, 27 and 28 February @ 8pm
Classical opera is very often conveniently perceived as a profound, exclusive genre adored by serious music aficionados. However, the dramatic plot of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and librettist Lorenzo da Ponte’s Don Giovanni, based on familiar themes of love, lust, vengeance and violence, is otherwise more intriguing than modern-day television drama.
Audiences will be kept on the edges of their seats as they follow the lecherous seducer and criminal, Don Giovanni, through his escapades and refusal to surrender to rules. Instead, he says to his enemies, leave it up to Fate.
Sung in Italian with English and Chinese subtitles, the lulling plot and music of Mozart keeps Don Giovanni one of the world’s most highly-demanded Classical opera. Singapore-based operatic soprano, Nancy Yuen, talks about the Singapore Lyric Opera’s humble take on this Western opera.
Q. What makes Don Giovanni an all-time audience favourite?
Don Giovanni is popular for the enduring quality of Mozart’s ingenious music and his sense of drama. There isn’t a dull moment in the entire opera, with action complimenting the mellifluous melodies, making this one of the most loved operas ever.
Q. Some striking highlights of the show which the audiences may affix themselves to?
Most of the audience can relate to all the characters on stage, as they are as flesh and blood as every other person around. This production is set in the period with the artist Goya as the inspiration to the whole look. Audience can look forward to a very Spanish theme visually and perhaps can also spare a thought on the outrageous behaviour of the main character against a very Catholic society.
Q. We understand that your role, Donna Anna, is plagued by a series of unforeseen events. How
tough is it portraying this character in Don Giovanni?
I play Donna Anna, a noble woman about to get married, but seduced by Don Giovanni right in the beginning of the opera. While trying to rescue his daughter, Anna’s father was accidentally killed by her seducer. One can understand the mental state Anna is in: hurt, tortured, sense of guilt, total shock. We see her full of angst in most of the scenes she appears, hence as an actress, it is rather challenging to keep up that intensity right through the evening.
This is a very honest portrayal of the opera, with sincerity and huge effort on ensemble playing from all the singers and orchestral members. The combined energy from everybody will definitely send shivers down the spine to every member of the audience, keeping them spell bound for the two-and-a half hours.
BY JOYCE CHENG
Tickets from Sistic.