Well, in true Oklahoma form, I have been warmly welcomed back into my hometown. Case in point: Recently, my pal Tasha kindly let me know that the Tulsa Opera was hosting a blogger night (despite the fact that most of my readers are cats and I have never reviewed anything before) during which bloggers could catch the final dress rehearsal of Don Giovanni fo’ free. So cool!
Naturally, I put on my opera pants and set out for the PAC.
The first thing I learned was that the title is not pronounced ‘Don Geo-vonny’, which is what I assumed because I don’t speak Italian/wear mink coats, but rather ‘Don Jovany’- like Jovan Musk. Don Giovanni probably wore a ton of Jovan Musk.
…except more rape-y and murder-ish. So yeah. Don goes around ruining people’s lives, including Donna Anna’s (he tries to rape her, then kills her father) and Donna Elvira (he plays her like a banjo.) Side note: I am pretty sure both of these women are former members of The Donnas.
Don and his servant, Leporello, roam the countryside trying to escape the various people Don has royally pissed off. Meanwhile, many of these pissed off people find each other and join forces to put an end to Don’s path of destruction. Ultimately, Don even betrays Leporello, and he is repeatedly confronted about changing his ways, yet he refuses to repent. Then, at a wild Don Giovanni party (you know the kind) there is a knock at the door, and it is- get this– the statue of the Commendatore, Donna Anna’s dead father. The statue has come to life and is avenging his own death! The statue commands Don Giovanni to repent, but he vows never to change his ways. The Commendatore statue then dramatically drags Don Giovanni into the grave with him. It. Is. Epic.
The audience is left with a clear sense of the moral of the opera: what goes around, comes around. Also, STATUES CAN COME ALIVE. (Gilcrease is a far creepier place to me now that I know this.)
The Tulsa Opera rocked this story. Leporello was hilarious and superb comic relief. The musicianship was absolutely superior- I think the woman who played Donna Anna held a note for about twenty minutes. All the vocalists sang beautifully and with great emotion, and the orchestra was dynamic. The stage lighting and set design really added so much to the production- the eerie green fog and chandeliers were high points. Plus, I got to make some new friends during intermission.
I give it 4.5 out of a possible 5 pimp cups.
The -.5 is due to a severe and scandalous lack of Bon Jovi.
Don Giovanni is playing this weekend at the Tulsa PAC. Check out the Tulsa Opera website for more information.