Astana Opera Academy preparing a premiere
NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM For the first time, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni will be presented at Astana Opera. All of the roles will be performed by the ASTANA OPERA International Opera Academy attendees. The debut in the greatest creation of a musical genius will be the final chord of the first year of training for aspiring singers, the Astana Opera press service reports.
Brilliant specialists, with whom Astana Opera has been collaborating for many years, were involved in the production. The conductors will be Italian Maestro Giuseppe Acquaviva, Astana Opera’s art manager, and Ruslan Baimurzin. The stage director is Ala Simonishvili, who, together with the consultant designer Manana Gunia, worked at the opera house on the productions of Gioachino Rossini’s operatic farsa comica La Scala di Seta, Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and Domenico Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto. Principal choirmaster – Yerzhan Dautov.
«Outstanding composers such as Gioachino Rossini, Charles Gounod and Richard Wagner named Don Giovanni one of the most brilliant operas,» conductor Giuseppe Acquaviva emphasizes. «For young singers, participation in the production is a huge lesson: there is something to work on both vocally and in terms of staging. The opera contains a large number of rather complex recitatives, during which you need to also show very good acting skills and understand who interacts with whom onstage. I am sure that the academy attendees will not only gain invaluable stage experience, but also come into contact with the work of the genius Mozart, which is very important for successful professional growth.»
The author himself called his work a ‘comedic drama’, emphasizing its tragedy and the depth of the characters’ feelings. At the same time, it is difficult to attribute this opera to any particular genre, as lyrical comedy, tragedy and psychological drama are organically intertwined in it.
«Mozart, in his short years of productive working life, covered a colossal number of aesthetic periods: from the late Baroque, passing through Classicism, entering the Romanticism era stage of aesthetics. Don Giovanni is one of the operas created in collaboration with the brilliant poet Lorenzo da Ponte. It is defined in Western European literature as a drama told in a cheerful language. We can say that it talks about serious things in a comedic way,» the stage director Ala Simonishvili says.
Don Giovanni is a character about whom both poets and writers of the Romanticism era wrote their works. He is a frivolous aristocrat whose life’s meaning is to love as many women as possible. Nevertheless, things are not as clear as it seems at first glance.
«Mozart’s Don Giovanni, in my vision, is a man who protests against the hypocrisy of his society. He says: «You are the same as me, but you do not talk about it, and I do not hide it.» This is very important, because he is not just a lover of women – that would be too banal and not interesting. This is a man who does not bow before anything and anyone, even when facing certain death. He is a social protest,» the director emphasizes. «He is not a fighter, but a person who does not want to be a hypocrite. The meaning of his life is not women, but to go against the society’s foundations. Don Giovanni objectively should be a negative character, but he draws attention to himself, he is the center of what is happening.»
The opera Don Giovanni, being an indisputable hallmark of opera art, continues its victorious march through the opera houses of the world for 235 (!) years, gathering more and more new fans of Mozart’s brilliant music and unique voices of its performers.
Taking the stage in a performance created especially for the International Opera Academy attendees and with their direct participation is the most important event of the year. The young singers have been preparing for a long time and very thoroughly, honing their skills with their teachers, so they are looking forward to meeting with the audience with a great deal of impatience and excitement.