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Performances

Joseph Lattanzi as Don Giovanni [Photo by Tim Trumble]
14 Mar 2016

AZ Opera Presents Young Singers in Memorable Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni is Mozart at his mature zenith. He makes his musical statements directly with optimum economy and, even after more than two centuries, the dramatic scope of his work remains a source of wonder to operagoers. Charles Gounod called Don Giovanni “an unequalled and immortal masterpiece, the pinnacle of lyrical drama.”

AZ Opera Presents Young Singers in Memorable Don Giovanni

A review by Maria Nockin

Above: Joseph Lattanzi as Don Giovanni

Photos by Tim Trumble

 

The performance of Don Giovanni on Saturday February 27, 2016, simply bubbled with Mozart's melodic and harmonic invention as the orchestra provided a firm foundation for the excellent performances of Arizona Opera’s cast under Steven White’s caring but firm conducting. Leading with authoritative tempi, he drew luxurious tone and refined phrasing from the Arizona Opera Orchestra.

Tara Faircloth’s stage direction was realistic and gave the visual aspects of the performance a firm foundation. Peter Nolle and Douglas Provost’s functional sets allowed the singers to bring the libretto to life in all its glory while Kathleen Trott’s carefully researched, exquisitely detailed costumes placed the action firmly in eighteenth century Spain.

Don Giovanni 15.pngAlyssa Martin, Ryan Kuster, Matthew Burns and Andrew Penning as Zerlina, Masetto, Leporello and Don Ottavio

As Don Giovanni, Joseph Lattanzi was a delight both vocally and dramatically. His portrayal was entirely sympathetic and oriented towards the work's tragic overtones and its eventual outcome. Although Lattanzi’s voice is not large and he reserved his full power for the supper scene, he achieved a high plane of vocalism and dramatic purpose whenever he was onstage. Matthew Burns was a cunning Leporello whose comedic turns were both pointed and deliciously amusing.

Alyssa Martin was a charming Zerlina who sang with a sweet sound. A smooth Ottavio, Andrew Penning sang a well articulated "Il mio tesoro" and made a fine partner for Andrea Shokery’s dramatically eloquent and musically exquisite Donna Anna. Ryan Kuster made a telling contribution as Masetto. His interpretation reminded us that revolution was on its way and would eventually change the relationship between common people and the nobility.

Don Giovanni 02.pngAndrea Shokery, Andrew Penning and Peter Volpe as Donna Anna, Don Ottavio and The Commendatore

Sarah Larsen sang Donna Elvira’s music with taste and technical excellence as she encompassed the character’s mix of strong emotions. Her “Mi tradi’ was a delight. Veteran bass, Peter Volpe was a sonorous Comendatore. Working with Maestro Steven White, the excellent solo artists sang the concerted numbers with precision and accuracy. Henri Venanzi’s chorus moved gracefully as they embodied individual townspeople and sang their glorious harmonies.

Maria Nockin


Cast and production information:

Don Giovanni, Joseph Lattanzi (1); Donna Anna, Andrea Shokery (2); Donna Elvira, Sarah Larsen; Don Ottavio, Andres Penning (1); Leporello, Matthew Burns; Zerlina, Alyssa Martin (1); Masetto, Ryan Kuster; Commendatore, Peter Volpe; Conductor, Steven White; Director, Tara Faircloth; Lighting Design, Douglas Provost; Scenic Design, Peter Nolle, Douglas Provost; Costume Design, Kathleen Trott; Chorus Master, Henri Venanzi; Fight Director, Andrea Robertson.

(1) Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artist

(2) Former Marion RoosePullin Studio Artist

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