Mozart’s Don Giovanni - the Don Juan story - is one of the great operas in the Western canon. Many music historians consider it to be one of the greatest operas of all time. Glorious music, an intricate plot and a very satisfying ending have attracted audiences since its premiere in 1787.
The Florentine Opera is reprising its 2006 production with performances on Friday and Sunday. British-Canadian baritone Alexander Dobson sings the role of the Don, South African bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana sings the role of the servant Leporello and bass David Leigh sings the role of Commendatore.
The three singers tell the familiar tale of the womanizing scoundrel called to answer for his transgressions. Dobson notes that even though the opera is a classic, anyone who sings the role of the Don must carefully consider his interpretation.
"As an audience member...how do we feel about this person? And portraying that person, how do I want him to be perceived? Do I want him to be likeable? Do I want him to be hated?" he asks.
In addition to the gorgeous music, Don Giovanni was also ground-breaking. "This opera is the first in history where any opera composer had written for three male voices, three low voices, to sing together at once," explains Ngqungwana.