Asheville Lyric Opera’s 2014 season to begin with Don Giovanni

Press Release

From Asheville Lyric Opera:

The new 2014 opera season will begin with Mozart’s dramatic thriller, Don Giovanni on April 4th at 8pm and April 6th at 3pm. Asheville Lyric Opera will introduce a new dynamic production of the infamous retelling of the Spanish fable, Don Juan. ALO is pleased to present nationally acclaimed artists in leading roles such as Metropolitan Opera and Chicago Lyric Opera baritone Galen Scott Bower. Working alongside Mr. Bower will be Asheville’s own, Jonathan Ross as Leporello, the not so loyal servant, and Greenville SC opera singer, Grant Knox as Don Ottavio.

Mozart’s classic retelling of the Spanish Don Juan has enticed audiences for centuries with its presentation of love, folly, and poetic justice. The title role of Don Giovanni embodies the Spanish Don Juan as he embarks on his lust-filled conquests. In pursuit of Donna Anna, her father, Il Commendatore, identifies him as an intruder. They duel to the death in which Giovanni prevails. Giovanni’s love conquests continue as he tries to lull both Donna Elvira and the soon to be wedded Zerlina. Leporello, Giovanni’s man servant, assists in his evil ways, but stays seemingly disloyal. Once they figure out the breadth of Giovanni’s wretchedness, they combine forces to bring Giovanni to justice. As they chase each other around in an attempt to bring the immoral Giovanni to justice. Giovanni passes the statue of the Commendatore in town and mockingly invites it to dinner. Later that evening the statue shows up at Giovanni’s castle and casts him into eternal damnation.

Returning to perform the title role is nationally acclaimed opera baritone Galen Scott Bower. Last season’s Baron Scarpia in Tosca will be accompanied by his not so loyal manservant Leporello, baritone Jonathan Ross. Kathy Pyeatt, last season’s Tosca, will return in the role of Donna Elvira. Several debuting singers will include Furman University’s new Director of Lyric Theatre, tenor Grant Knox, performing one of his nationally renowned roles as Don Ottavio, Donna Anna, will be performed by international soprano Kristin Vogel, and Washington DC’s leading opera soprano, Randa Rouwehya as the soon to be wedded Zerlina. Her husband-to-be, Masetto, will be sung by local star baritone Dominic Aquilino.

ALO is proud to announce the return of the highly talented David Malis. A renowned producer, director, and performer, Mr. Malis has been responsible for the production of many acclaimed operas. Working alongside Mr. Sherman is the brilliant maestro, who last led ALO’s highly acclaimed production of La Traviata, Scott Schoonover. ALO will feature a brand new design concept of the show by resident designer Julie Ross who adds contemporary nuance with elegant sophistication. The opera will also feature the Lyric Opera Chorus and Orchestra.

NEW PERFORMANCE DATES with Sunday matinee:
The Friday, April 4, 2014 performance will begin at 8pm. Sunday April 6, 2014 will be a matinee performance beginning at 3pm in the Diana Wortham Theater in Asheville, NC. The opera will be performed in original Italian with English supertitles providing a wonderful digital interactive experience. Tickets are available at the theatre box office: 828-257-4530.

Tickets to the Don Giovanni April 2, 2013 Preview Dress Rehearsal at 7pm are available through the opera office. Call the Asheville Lyric Opera at 828-236-0670 to make preview dress rehearsal reservations. For more information visit www.ashevillelyric.org.

Act 1

Leporello stands guard, waiting on his master, Don Giovanni to return from breaking into Donna Anna’s bed chamber. He hides at the approach of Donna Anna who is pursuing Don Giovanni (who conceals his face). Donna Anna’s father, Il Commendatore, confronts Don Giovanni and they duel. The old man is slain by Don Giovanni. Don Giovanni and Leporello escape.

Don Giovanni senses the presence of a woman and pursues the distressed lady but soon realizes it is Donna Elvira. She believes they are married. He escapes after her scolding and lament of his betrayal of affection, leaving Leporello to show her the catalogue of his many conquests. Leporello leaves her to vent her frustration and hurt in private.

Don Giovanni invites the peasants to his house for fun and treats, dismissing the jealous Masetto as he plans to keep Zerlina in his company. Giovanni flatters Zerlina with an offer of marriage. Zerlina worries about Masetto, but finally falls prey to Don Giovanni’s confident plea. Donna Elvira arrives just in time and warns Zerlina to flee this traitor. At this moment, Donna Anna realizes that he was the perpetrator of her household and murderer of her father.
Don Giovanni gives orders to his servants for the evening’s festivities and begins to spy on Zerlina. Donna Elvira leads Donna Anna and Don Ottavio towards Don Giovanni’s party. They are dressed up as maskers for the ball, concealing their identities. Leporello sees them and invites them to join the party. They pray that justice and peace will be the result of their plan.

The maskers enter the party and are greeted with a toast. Leporello forces Masetto to dance. Don Giovanni drags Zerlina into another room. She screams; Masetto rushes after them. All gather around the scene. Zerlina and the maskers, now revealing themselves, are not fooled and denounce Don Giovanni. Once again, he escapes.

Act II

Leporello is forced to switch clothes with Don Giovanni in order to seduce Donna Elvira’s maid. Masetto and a group of peasants, bearing weapons, are hunting Don Giovanni. Still in disguise, Don Giovanni gives Masetto and his followers instructions on how they might find the scoundrel. He asks Masetto to stay with him and then beats him. Zerlina comes to Masetto and comforts him.

Don Giovanni and Leporello reunite and Leporello explains that he has almost been killed. Don Giovanni brags on his latest conquest and laughter is heard. They see the statue of Il Commendatore and Leporello is forced to read the inscription: I await vengeance on the villain who slew me. Don Giovanni forces Leporello to invite the statue to dinner at his house. The statue accepts the invitation.

Don Ottavio, frustrated that Donna Anna will not yet return his affection, calls her cruel. She explains to him that she cares for him, but that now is not the time for discussions of romance. Until her father’s death has been avenged, she cannot move forward. She tells him that one day this terrible situation will be resolved and there will be joy in their lives again.

Don Giovanni begins his meal before the arrival of his invited guest. Taking one last attempt to bring Don Giovanni to repentance, Donna Elvira bursts in to warn him of the consequences of his actions. The statue of the Commendatore appears and warns him to repent or suffer eternal consequences. Don Giovanni refuses to repent. The statue drags Don Giovanni into the eternal flames of punishment.


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