Opéra Bastille - from 12 September to 18 October 2015
3h40 with 1 interval
Language : Italian
In few words:
"Give up women ? What madness ! Give up women ! You know that they are more necessary to me than the bread I eat or the air I breathe !"
- Don Giovanni, Act II, scene 1
A myth, like an endlessly rewritten page: a palimpsest. That of Don Giovanni hovers over the character born in 1630 in Tirso de Molina's El Burlador de Sevilla, then over Mozart and Da Ponte’s dramma giocoso first performed in Prague in 1787, and finally over the composer’s life which has also acquired the status of a legend. The most stubborn critical analyses to which all three have been subjected for more than two centuries have never succeeded in laying low an irrepressible vitality nor in resolving the enigmas posed by this opera of operas. In the initial run of this production, first performed at the Palais Garnier on the 250th anniversary to the day of Mozart's birth – a symbolic date for Michael Haneke to present his own manifesto – the film director makes a clean sweep, doing away with the romantic fantasies propagated by E.T.A. Hoffmann's novella, in order to expose characters consumed by their own desires and empty ambitions. Commandeering the score to the point of dissecting each and every recitative with a scalpel, he projects the dissoluto’s lust for life into the here anokd now of an implacable struggle confined to the top floor of an office tower in the business district of La Défense. In a world where God is dead and where statues can no longer speak, the punishment no longer falls to the icy hand of the Commendatore. The members of the cleaning crew, victims turned executioners, wear the mask of vengeance. The Paris Opera is reviving this production for one last time.