by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The Egyptian Theatre
October 26, 2018, 7:30pm
October 28, 2018, 2:30pm
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni returns to Opera Idaho for the first time since 1999 and the first time ever at The Egyptian Theatre. Based on the legend of Don Juan, a fictional libertine and seducer, Mozart’s dramma giocoso is annually ranked among the ten most-performed operas in the world. Korean baritone Kyu Won Han (Carmen, 2014 & Tosca, 2017) performs the title role, leading a cast drawn from favorite artists of General Director Mark Junkert’s first ten seasons at Opera Idaho. The first film shown at The Egyptian Theatre, Opera Idaho’s home theatre since 2010, was the silent film Don Juan in 1927.
Spain, tonight. Leporello, servant to playboy Don Giovanni, keeps watch outside the Commendatore’s home at night. Suddenly, the Commendatore’s daughter, Donna Anna, rushes out, struggling with the masked Giovanni and followed by her father. The Commendatore challenges Giovanni to a fight and is killed. Giovanni and Leporello escape. Anna asks her fiancé, Don Ottavio, to avenge her father’s death.
In the morning, Giovanni and Leporello encounter one of Giovanni’s former conquests, Donna Elvira, who is devastated by his betrayal. Leporello tells her she is neither the first nor the last woman to fall victim to Giovanni and shows her his catalogue with the name of every woman Giovanni has seduced.
Peasants celebrate the marriage of Masetto and Zerlina. Giovanni flirts with the bride, telling her she is destined for a better life. But Elvira urges Zerlina to flee her suitor. She also warns Anna, who is still unaware of the identity of her father’s murderer and has asked Giovanni for help in finding the man. Giovanni, for his part, insists that Elvira is mad, and Anna and Ottavio wonder what to believe. As Giovanni leaves, Anna suddenly recognizes him as the murderer. Devastated but determined, she once more asks Ottavio to avenge her. Giovanni, who has invited the entire wedding party to his home, looks forward to an evening of drinking and dancing.
Outside Giovanni’s home, Zerlina and Masetto make up. Giovanni enters and leads them both inside. Anna, Elvira, and Ottavio appear masked and are invited in by Leporello. In the ballroom, Giovanni dances with Zerlina, then drags her into the adjoining room. When she cries for help, Giovanni blames Leporello. Anna, Elvira, and Ottavio take off their masks and, along with Zerlina and Masetto, accuse Giovanni, who is momentarily surprised but manages to slip away.
Having exchanged clothes with Giovanni, Leporello takes Elvira on a nighttime walk, leaving his master free to serenade her maid. When Masetto arrives with a band of peasants to hunt down Giovanni, the disguised Don sends them off in various directions, then beats up Masetto. Zerlina finds her bruised fiancé and comforts him.
Later that night, Leporello — still believed by Elvira to be Giovanni — is surprised by Anna, Ottavio, Zerlina, and Masetto, who all denounce the supposed Don. Fearing for his life, Leporello reveals his true identity before making his escape. Ottavio proclaims that he will take revenge on Giovanni and asks the others to look after Anna.
Giovanni and Leporello come across a statue of the Commendatore, who warns Giovanni that by morning he will laugh no longer. Giovanni forces the terrified Leporello to invite the statue to dinner. The statue accepts.
Once again, Ottavio asks Anna to marry him, but she replies that she will not until her father’s death has been avenged.
That evening, Elvira arrives at Giovanni’s home, interrupting his dinner. She makes a last desperate attempt to persuade him to change his life, but he only laughs at her. The figure of the Commendatore enters and asks Giovanni to repent. When he boldly refuses he is dragged to hell.
Merola and Adler Fellows
Opera Idaho has long had a special connection with San Francisco Opera (SFO) and its training programs, the Merola Opera Program and Adler Fellowship Program. Out of hundreds of young hopefuls who audition, approximately 23 singers, five apprentice coaches and one apprentice stage director are chosen to participate in the Merola annual summer residency program. Merola is dedicated to seeking out the finest young opera talent and helping them develop into professional artists of the highest caliber. A select few of these “Merolini,” as they are affectionately known, go one to become Adler Fellows in SFO’s multi-year performance-oriented residency for opera’s most promising young artists.
In our cast for Don Giovanni, both Kyu Won Han (Don Giovanni) and Marina Harris (Donna Anna) were Merolini and subsequently Adler Fellows.
Merola singers who’ve performed at Opera Idaho (with graduation years):
Julie Adams (soprano) 2014
Susannah Biller (soprano) 2009
Alexander Boyer (tenor): 2007
Robert Breault (tenor): 1990, 1991
Casey Candebat (tenor): 2012, 2014
Rebecca Davis (soprano): 2010
Daryl Freedman (mezzo-soprano): 2013
Thomas Glenn (tenor): 2003
Kyu Won Han (baritone): 1999
Marina Boudart Harris (soprano): 2011
Austin Kness (baritone): 2008
Laura Krumm (mezzo-soprano): 2011
Madison Leonard (soprano): 2015
David Malis (baritone): 1982, 1983
Joseph Rawley (bass-baritone): 2005
Mark Rucker (baritone): 1982
Philip Skinner (bass-baritone): 1985
Pamela South (soprano): 1974
Zanda Svede (mezzo-soprano): 2013
Brian Thorsett (tenor): 2006
Adler Fellows who’ve performed with Opera Idaho:
Julie Adams 2015 – 2016
Zanda Svede 2015 – 2016
Marina Harris 2012 – 2013
Laura Krumm 2012 – 2013
Susannah Biller 2010 – 2011
Austin Kness 2009 – 2010
Thomas Glenn 2004 – 2005
Kyu Won Han 2000 – 2001
Phillip Skinner 1986 -1987
David Malis 1984 – 1985
Affiliate Artists (predecessor to the Adler Fellowship)
Pamela South, soprano, 1975-1981
For more information on the Merola and Adler programs, respectively, click below: