229 years after the premiere at the Prague Estates Theatre, the sounds of the original instruments for which Mozart composed “Don Giovanni” can once again be heard.
Fornasetti is directly engaged in the production of the opera, working with an exceptional team of artists, to rediscover the innovative force of the Prague manuscript, as opposed to the more customary approach of performing the second version of Don Giovanni,
written by Mozart for the audience in Vienna. The layers of alterations made across the centuries have been cleared away, allowing the remarkable creative force of the original work to emerge.
The Silete Venti! orchestra conducted by Simone Toni
also reflects the make-up of an authentic Mozart ensemble: 30 elements playing period instruments, with the strings placed opposite the wind instruments, as was customary in the 1700s. The vocalists, as a fundamental part of the project, have been selected for their precise affinities with the orchestra and its instruments. The sets feature the use of imagery from the historical archives of Fornasetti, in a modern reinterpretation by Barnaba Fornasetti
. The costumes by Romeo Gigli
fully convey the fragility of the characters, outside of space and time, marked by the memories of intense emotions. The director Davide Montagna
has kept faith with the spirit of the original production, while creating parallel dimensions in which to balance the imagery of Fornasetti with the harmonies of Mozart. The lights by Gigi Saccomandi
reveal or conceal, suggest, and sometimes assert – but they are never innocent. The opera, as presented by this unprecedented work group under the artistic direction of Valeria Manzi
and Roberto Coppolecchia
, avoids any hint of conventional representation, with the aim of engaging and fascinating both opera lovers and a wider-ranging audience.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart was born in Salzburg on 27 January 1756. As a child he demonstrated amazing musical gifts with the fortepiano and the violin. At the age of 5 he began to perform at the European courts as a child prodigy. In Milan he completed one of his first operas, Mitridate, re di Ponto,
while in the years to follow he composed masterpieces like Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte,
and dozens of symphonies. He died in Vienna on 5 December 1791 at the age of 35, leaving his last work, the Requiem,
Lorenzo da Ponte
Born in Vittorio Veneto on 10 March 1749, he is considered one of the greatest librettists of all time. He worked with Mozart and Salieri, writing masterpieces like Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni
and Il Ricco d'un giorno. In 1779 he left Venice after having been accused of “public concubinage” and began to work all over Europe. He moved to the United States in the early 1800s and became the first professor of Italian Literature at Columbia College. He died in New York on 17 August 1838.