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September 2014
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Lyric Opera Opening Night

Mariusz Kwiecien as Don Giovanni, Metropolitan Opera

Mariusz Kwiecien as Don Giovanni, Metropolitan Opera

Live Broadcast, Saturday at 7:15 pm

The 60th season at Lyric Opera of Chicago begins on Saturday with a bit of nostalgia: Mozart’s Don Giovanni, the same opera that launched Lyric 60 years ago.

Lyric Opera’s new production won’t look much like the original, however. It is directed by Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls, who is putting a more modern spin on the classic tale.

1DonGiovannipostSet in 1920s, pre-Spanish Civil War Spain, the new production offers the Charleston, drugs, and bicycles around which the Don goes prowling for women.

Lyric brings familiar faces to open the season: Marina Rebeka, Ana María Martínez, and Andriana Chuchman. Together these three ladies form the perfect feminine storm, summoned by the Don’s debauchery. Mariusz Kwiecien, who sang the Don in the Met’s 2011 Don Giovanni with Marina Rebeka, serves as the pivotal player in this tale, upending the lives of the other characters.

Certainly, whether the story takes place in the 17th century, 20th or 21st century, talk of the Don’s exploits (which according to librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte include 1003 women in Spain alone) is as shocking, contemporary, and seductive as any Hollywood blog.

Mariusz Kwiecien, who has sung the role of the Don many times, told WFMT, “Every production is different,” though he seems particularly excited by this Jazz age setting. Speaking of his character’s death “it will be a very spectacular situation on stage…I’m not going to tell you how I’m going to die, but it is pretty amazing.”

Sir Andrew Davis conducts the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus. WFMT’s live broadcast from the Civic Opera House begins at 7:15 pm on Saturday. Don Giovanni runs through October 29.

Click here for a live stream of the opening night broadcast with subtitles.

  • R

    The engineering of this performance is the worst I’ve heard in years. Loud one minute, the next very soft. Even the National Anthem sounded as if the mic was in the middle of the pit, no ambience of the theater at all. Loud floor movements, as is par for this series. Still, this one is really terrible. Who is at the console? Junior high students?