Dramma giocoso in two acts, K. 527
Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
The Salzburg Festival presents Mozart and Da Ponte’s masterpiece Don Giovanni. According to Sven-Eric Bechtolf, who presents this year his production of the opera at the Salzburg Festival, "Don Giovanni is a romantic hero of metaphysical proportions.”
Viva la libertà! – In our time, comparatively devoid of taboos and free of shame, where what was once urgently advocated enlightenment has been degraded to profitable obscenity, a theatrical character such as Don Giovanni is harder to understand and to stage than ever before.
The freedom which Giovanni thirsts for has nothing in common with the middle class liberal ethos and desolate middle class freedoms of our times, it hardly comes close. His craving is for a lack of boundaries.
Aligned against this is a world of order and strict divisions, of insurmountable differences in class and status, of morality and religion, whose mechanisms of repression are made visible when confronted with Giovanni. ‘Freedom to do what?’ Mozart and Da Ponte might ask their Giovanni, concerned. To have a feudal master articulate the rebellious demand for freedom on the eve of the revolution, to make this murderer and alleged rapist a character with whom we identify in order to bring hell on stage in the finale – this undertaking is so rich in contradictions, both suspected and explicit, so rich in fears and hopes, false and genuine outrage, support and opposition, earthly and religious horizons, indecision and daring, humour and gravitas, that one would think a wrestling match were taking place in which neither competitor loses, but in whose heat the battlefield goes up in flames. Liberty and its lack appear by its flickering light as equally terrifying giants. Our age puts out this fire by psycho-pathologizing Don Giovanni. As nothing more is sacred to us, we find nothing unsacred. Viva la libertà!
Lenneke Ruiten, Donna Anna
Anett Fritsch, Donna Elvira
Valentina Nafornita, Zerlina
Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, Don Giovanni
Luca Pisaroni, Leporello
Tomasz Konieczny, Il Commendatore
Andrew Staples, Don Ottavio
Alessio Arduini, Masetto
Sven-Eric Bechtolf, stage director
Philharmonia Chor Wien
Walter Zeh, chorus master
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor