In April, Edmonton Opera presents a bold new production of Don Giovanni, the crowning masterpiece of Mozart’s Italian repertoire. It has been over a decade since this notorious heartbreaker was last seen on the Jubilee stage and his return is highly anticipated by Edmonton audiences.
Director Oriol Tomas pays homage to the origins of the Don Juan myth in this production, infusing a timeless Spanish flavour in all aspects of the design. Don Giovanni is seen as a matador-like figure who is not only of a higher status in society, but also enjoys the life of a superstar, which allows him to be so casually reckless. “Matadors are bona fide celebrities who are applauded and adored by fans…their prideful attitude is reflective of Don Giovanni’s hubris. Matadors defy death, and Don Giovanni defies God,” explains Tomas.
Although this Don Giovanni is not set in a particular era, Tomas wants to invoke a sense of the past and its grandeur. For costume designer Deanna Finnman, the concept is an exciting one. “When there is a period, you have parameters for the design…you know what the silhouette is, what the colours and fabrics are. But when it’s timeless, you have to create your own parameters,” she says. “In this production, we have a very condensed colour palette: black, white, red and gold, into which we infuse elements of Spanish traditional design in each of the garments to create a through line.”
Don Giovanni will have a few different costumes throughout, all of which make him look sleek and seductive. Finnman is interested in showcasing the body of this mysterious matador, suggesting an almost ballet-like smoothness to his movements. Another striking costume belongs to the vivacious Donna Elvira, a jilted ex-lover who chases Don Giovanni around for most of the opera. Finnman was inspired by the idea of a ‘revenge dress’ made popular by Princess Diana and saw it as a perfect fit for Elvira’s character.
Our stylish new production promises to steal audiences’ hearts with its spectacular designs and a talented cast including baritone Phillip Addis as Don Giovanni, soprano Michele Capalbo as Donna Anna, and tenor John Tessier as Don Ottavio. Get your tickets before they’re gone!