Don Giovanni at UoT Opera

The Opera Division’s fall production this year is Mozart’s Don Giovanni in a production by Marilyn Gronsdal.  Let’s start with the production.  The sets are all paper and boxes with a few props and the costuming is 1940s.  The aesthetic is film noir.  There are trilbies and Don Ottavio is packing a piece in a shoulder holster.  It set, for me and my companion at least, an expectation that this would be a “film noir production” but although there were nods in that direction; Leporello as the comic sidekick, statuette of the Commendatore as the murder weapon for example, the idea wasn’t really developed at all.  Instead we got a very straightforward narrative with the a few twists.  Gronsdal included a chorus of silent women who comment on the action (didn’t she do this in Saskatoon as well?) and Don Giovanni isn’t dragged down to Hell.


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Golden Age of Opera

Such was the title of yesterday’s performance by the UoT Opera ‘s performance in the RBA.  Now personally I don’t subscribe to the notion of the 19th century (ugh!) as a “golden age” of anything but yesterday suggested that the UoT program, if not quite in golden age territory is going through a bit of a purple patch.  This was, I think, the best student performance overall that I have heard in the last two or three years.

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