On Saturday, the Oak Ridge Philharmonia will join with local operatic singers to present a free concert, consisting of the entire score from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” opera.
“This is an excellent opportunity to enjoy all the music from this famous opera, without scheduling a trip to the Metropolitan Opera in New York City,” a press release said.
The featured singers, under the direction of Ryan Colbert, are Tyler Padgett (Don Giovanni), Paul Bryson (Leporello), Ryan Colbert (Donna Anna), Joshua Allen (Don Ottavio), April Hill (Donna Elvira), Harrison Cooke (Commendatore/Masetto), and Marya Barry (Zerlina). The orchestra and singers will be conducted by Marcelo Urias.
In the late 1700s, there was high demand in Prague for comic operas dealing with philanderers, such as the fictional Don Juan, a Spanish legend. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) seized upon that opportunity, and joined forces with librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte (1749-1838) to compose “Don Giovanni,” which premiered in Prague in 1787, the press release said. The plot is loosely based upon the Don Juan tale.
But Mozart and Da Ponte may have exaggerated the womanizer’s reputation, when they programmed Don Giovanni’s servant, Leporello, to catalogue his master’s conquests, including 640 women and girls in Italy, 231 in Germany, 100 in France, 91 in Turkey, and 1,003 in Spain. Consequently, it is not surprising that Don Giovanni considers every woman he encounters as a prime opportunity for a romantic tryst, regardless of her committed relationships. And that is the basic obsession driving the intrigue and conflicts in this opera’s plot. Needless to say, it contains all the ingredients necessary to cook a salacious story: disguised identities, deception, jilted and angry lovers, murder, and attempts to seduce a betrothed maiden—all the essential elements that one can find in any modern soap opera.
The story does not escape moral justice. At the beginning of the first act, Don Giovanni kills Il Commendatore, Don Pedro, to facilitate access to his daughter, Donna Anna. At the end of the opera, Don Pedro returns, as the statue from his tombstone, to marshal the demons marching Don Giovanni to eternal torture in Hell.
To be amazed by the fast-talking Don Giovanni attempting to woo every conflicted woman, join the Oak Ridge Philharmonia and the opera singers on Saturday, December 2, at 2 p.m. in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Oak Ridge. The church is located at the corner of Oak Ridge Turnpike and Lafayette Drive. Admission is free, although the orchestra appreciates modest donations at the door to support routine operating expenses. Free refreshments following the concert are provided by the orchestra members.
The Oak Ridge Philharmonia is a 501(c)3, nonprofit, volunteer organization, performing under the baton of Conductor and Music Director Marcelo Urias. Anyone wishing to regularly participate in the orchestra is encouraged to contact Personnel Manager Cyndi Jeffers at [email protected]. Usually, the orchestra can accommodate additional string players, and occasionally there are openings in the brass, woodwind, and percussion sections, the press release said. The orchestra welcomes proficient musicians of all ages. The Oak Ridge Philharmonia is a rewarding venue for instrumentalists who enjoy playing for an appreciative audience, with music ranging from Baroque through Classical to Contemporary, the press release said. For more information, visit www.OakRidgePhilharmonia.org. You can also find them on Facebook.
This article and photo were submitted by Dale Gedcke, publicity manager for Oak Ridge Philharmonia.