Scott Cantrell's review of the Santa Fe Opera production of "Don Giovanni" in the Dallas Morning News was pretty tough on the totally red and pink set by David Zinn. Noelle and I liked it. The patterns across the building fronts reminded me of over-dyed Indian bedspreads from Pier One that I had in college. The hippie Summer of Love vintage seems appropriate for the legendary Don Juan.
I wish Zinn had thought more about the costuming. The colors worked, but the time periods didn't make sense. If he wanted to remove the production from an historical time-frame he could have gone way more eccentric, or way more tame. Half of each didn't do it. I liked the private eye Baretta trench-coat look for Leporello, but the other males needed something beyond leather coats. Are we thinking Brando? Gatsby? Hamlet? 007? And even if he is dead, the statue of the Commendatore needs to look more weathered. Most of the lighting was too dim for persons of my advanced age, but when the statue appeared it was bug-zapper spotlight on chicken pieces just rolled in flour for frying. If we are going in that direction, why don't we just do it in black light???
I've been rather recently added to the list of Don Giovanni's conquests. The comparison of this opera to "Hamlet" makes sense. There are so many ways to interpret it. So far, Donna Anna has been a big dud. She's engaged to the safe wimp, Don Ottavio, but doesn't really want him, and who can blame her? She's known all along who murdered her father, but she still finds the murderer attractive. Why does she just stand in one spot singing? With so many internal conflicts how does she keep from physically using the entire stage to express them? This is a woman with serious ISSUES. What kind of car would she drive?
And speaking of vehicles, what was the idea behind the hedge that rolls on stage from the right in Act II? As I mentioned, the whole set is red and pink. So is the hedge. Its function could easily be replaced by a fence of any sort. But, NOOOOO! We have the giant mutant Brillo woolly caterpillar from Mars!!
Thanks so much to Spirit and Opportunity for finding life on the Red Planet:
Red Rovers Come Over