Holly H. Gilson
Senior Director, Communications
What You Need to Know About Lyric's Production
CHICAGO (10/10/2019) – Don Giovanni is bad to the bone and utterly unrepentant. He takes what he wants and lives only for his own pleasure in his encounters with fiery Donna Elvira, tormented Donna Anna, and impressionable Zerlina, among countless others. He manipulates and abuses his frustrated servant Leporello, Anna’s fiancé Don Ottavio, and Zerlina’s brand-new husband Masetto, and murders Anna’s father. Mozart’s tale of lust and revenge is set to some of the composer’s most thrilling and dramatic music.
Lyric’s calling card: Don Giovanni was the first opera the company ever produced in early 1954, to gauge Chicago’s support for a new opera company. It was enthusiastically received and Lyric launched its first full season that fall. This will be its 11th presentation at Lyric.
Mozart’s 19th opera (out of 22): Don Giovanni premiered in 1787, just four years before the composer’s premature death at 35.
Inspired by the legend of Don Juan: Lorenzo Da Ponte based his libretto on the fabled fictional libertine (who also inspired Richard Strauss’s tone poem).
This original Lyric production is a feast for the eyes that premiered in 2014|15 to open Lyric’s 60th anniversary season. Directed by the Goodman Theatre’s artistic director Robert Falls, it’s set in the 1920s, with atmospheric set designs by Walt Spangler and vividly colorful costumes by Ana Kuzmanic, including extravagant masks and a gorgeous Picasso-inspired gown (which was displayed in a Macy’s window on State Street last winter). Duane Schuler’s masterful lighting enhances every scene. August Tye is the choreographer.
Sophisticated special effects: You’ll be astonished when the statue of the murdered father comes to life. Watch our previous Commendatore be transformed here. The dramatic final encounter between the statue and the Don will blow you away -- operatic stagecraft at its finest.
Impressive musical artistry: American conductor James Gaffigan (called “one of the rising stars of his generation” by The New York Times) leads the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus (prepared by chorus master Michael Black) through Mozart’s sublime score. Gaffigan made his acclaimed Lyric debut in 2017|18 with Così fan tutte, penned by Mozart & Da Ponte shortly after Don Giovanni.
Several new-to-Lyric international artists onstage: Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov and Italian baritone Davide Luciano both make Lyric debuts in the title role, as do Americans soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen (Donna Anna) and tenor Ben Bliss (her fiancé, Don Ottavio). Soprano Amanda Majeski (Chicago-area native and Ryan Opera Center alumna) is Donna Elvira and English bass Matthew Rose is Giovanni’s servant Leporello. Finnish bass Mika Kares (Commendatore), Chinese soprano Ying Fang (Zerlina), and American bass-baritone Brandon Cedel (Masetto) all make Lyric debuts.
Nine performances: November 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, and 30 and December 3, 5, and 8 (performances in bold are matinees)
3 hours and 20 minutes, including 1 intermission.
Sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage.
For more information and to order tickets, visit lyricopera.org/giovanni or call 312-827-5600.
- For information about pre-performance dining options at Lyric, visit lyricopera.org/dining to learn about on-site restaurants, beverage service, and more.
From: Lisa Middleton, Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Lyric Opera of Chicago is committed to redefining what it means to experience great opera. The company is driven to deliver consistently excellent artistry through innovative, relevant, celebratory programming that engages and energizes new and traditional audiences.
Under the leadership of general director, president & CEO Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, music director designate Enrique Mazzola, and creative consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric is dedicated to reflecting, and drawing strength from the diversity of Chicago. Lyric offers, through innovation, collaboration and evolving learning opportunities, ever more exciting, accessible, and thought-provoking audience and community experiences. We also stand committed to training the artists of the future, through The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center and to becoming increasingly diverse across our audiences, staff, programming and artists - magnifying the welcoming pull of our art form, our company, and our city.
Through the timeless power of voice, the splendor of a great orchestra and chorus, theater, dance, design, and truly magnificent stagecraft, Lyric is devoted to immersing audiences in worlds both familiar and unexpected, creating shared experiences that resonate long after the curtain comes down.
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