In his Memoirs, composer Charles Gounod tells of his first experience with Don Giovanni, the operatic masterpiece by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte: “From the very beginning of the overture, I felt myself transported… to a completely new world… Thus enveloped in the double embrace of the beautiful and the terrible, I murmured the following words: Oh mother, what music! This truly is music, to be sure!” This opera is indeed remarkable for its combination of comedy and seriousness, darkness and light, serenity and violence. It is no wonder that people could read into it the precursors of ideas that would lead to the French Revolution just two years after its premiere…
Even before reaching adulthood, Mozart had already made his opera debut with the Latin intermezzo Apollo and Hyacinth (1767), followed by the opera buffa The Pretended Simpleton (1769). With his prodigious ability for assimilation, he put the music he heard during his European tours to good use. In Milan, he composed his first opera seria, Mitridate (1770), which was a great success and led to the commission of a second opera seria, Lucio Silla (1772).
David Lefkowich is an accomplished stage director who has enjoyed success with several companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Gran Teatre del Liceu...