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NEW YORK OPERA CONSERVATORY – Free virtual opera: Mozart’s Don Giovanni (A Pandemic Nightmare Comedy)

As a summer opera program for emerging singers, the  New York Opera Conservatory had to re-think a way to not disappoint its students in light of the covid epidemic. But how do you maintain social distancing in opera rehearsals and performances?  How do you lift moods during such an intense period of uncertainty?

The Conservatory’s answer was to make the pandemic the backdrop of an opera, and some of its consequences a part of the production!  Since Mozart’s Don Giovanni (a dark tragedy) had already been chosen by the Conservatory for its summer program, it was totally reimagined as a comedy taking place during a pandemic, and created entirely by relying on digital technology and cell phones. The entire production was staged, filmed, and edited without any of the cast and technical crew leaving home.

Every special effect offered by phones was used throughout the production, from Snapchat filters to tinder messaging to turning the tenor aria “Il mio tesoro” into a home cooking show…showing us just how bizarre and surreal the world has become.  Production glitches, similar to what you see every day in the media where programming is home-based, are a major part of the charm of the work.

This production is offered FREE OF CHARGE to the public, however, any donation large or small will help to recover essential revenues lost as a result of the pandemic. Visit the Taconic Opera website to make a donation:  www.TaconicOpera.org

How to watch:

Don Giovanni is available on YouTube to watch at your leisure and as often as you like:

https://youtu.be/Mwa428_ZJpI

Cast (a combination of seasoned professionals and student singers)

(In order of appearance)

Samuel Flores—Leporello

Luke Scott—Don Giovanni

Ky Montez—Donna Anna

Dennis Fox—Commendatore

David Soto Zambrana—Don Ottavio

Deborah Connelly—Donna Elvira

Nadia Briones—Zerlina

Cade Montez—Masetto

Two other casts can be seen doing the production, but only until July 22, 2020:

https://youtu.be/rBLF0p2cNPM

https://youtu.be/fLPOHOsxV0g

Directed by Dan Montez, General and Artistic Director, Taconic Opera;  Director: NY Opera Conservatory

Pianist – Kessa Mefford

Partially funded with a generous grant from Arts Westchester.

For information about becoming a student in the NY Opera Conservatory, visit the Conservatory website: www.NewYorkOperaConservatory.com.

For general information about Taconic Opera and NY Opera Conservatory events, visit the website: www.TaconicOpera.org

 

Don Giovanni Synopsis: https://stageagent.com/shows/opera/1025/don-giovanni#:~:text=Synopsis.%20The%20famous%20tale%20of%20Don%20Giovanni%20centers,Giovanni%20duels%20with%20Il%20Commendatore%20and%20kills%20him%2C