Opera’s legendary lover is set to seduce Auckland audiences for one night only this July when the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) presents The Trusts Community Foundation Opera in Concert performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni in association with New Zealand Opera (NZ Opera).
Desire, deceit and betrayal abound in Mozart’s tale about Don Giovanni, a serial seducer whose actions take him down a path of ruin. APO’s Music Director Giordano Bellincampi will lead the orchestra as a stellar cast of international soloists, supported by The Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus, tell this timeless story of opera’s ill-fated ‘bad boy’ with a melting pot of comedy, tragedy, drama and a hint of the supernatural.
“Don Giovanni is one of my favourite operas. The text by Lorenzo da Ponte is a poetical masterpiece, describing with humour and precision the various sides of the human soul through a playful drama. The figure of Don Giovanni evokes all kinds of emotions in the characters involved, and none of them will ever be the same after meeting him,” says APO Music Director Giordano Bellincampi.
“The collaboration between da Ponte and Mozart is very likely one of the most perfect artistic partnerships in the history of art. The connection between the words and the music is beyond perfect.”
Taking the stage in the titular role is Slovakian baritone Richard Šveda, whose core repertoire features characters from Mozart’s operas including Don Giovanni, a role he has played for opera companies including National Theatre Prague and Deutsche Oper am Rhein. Šveda replaces the previously advertised Auden Iversen, who has regrettably had to withdraw due to personal reasons.
Leporello will be sung by Canadian bass-baritone Robert Gleadow who is no stranger to the role, having previously played the character of Giovanni’s servant in productions by the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Glyndebourne Opera.
A trio of powerhouse sopranos round off the cast as the women in Giovanni’s life. Singing the role of Giovanni’s former lover Donna Elvira is Romanian soprano Brigitta Kele, with Russian soprano Ekaterina Siurina as Donna Anna. Giovanni’s latest love interest Zerlina will be sung by New Zealand-born soprano Natasha Wilson – NZ Opera’s 2018 Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist. Kele replaces Heidi Stober, who was originally announced in the role of Donna Elvira.
Stuart Maunder, Artistic Director of State Opera of South Australia, returns to spearhead the stage direction of Don Giovanni. Maunder has previously joined forces with APO to lead stage direction for acclaimed performances Otello in 2016, Manon Lescaut in 2017 and Aida in 2018.
Bellincampi says: “As always we will have the wonderful music centrestage in every sense, giving the audience the chance to really listen to the music and experience the genius, Mozart-esque interplay between the orchestra and the singers. And, as in previous years, Stuart Maunder will be directing the wonderful cast in a version that will be as entertaining and playful as it will be deep and lyrical.”