- Title: RUSSIA: Bolshoi opens season with La Scala's 'Don Giovanni'
- Date: 5th September 2012
- Summary: 16. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LA SCALA CONDUCTOR DANIEL BARENBOIM, SAYING: "What I can tell you is that the Bolshoi has a remarkably - and I am not saying this to be polite - remarkably good acoustics, both for concert and for opera, because it is very rare. Since for opera the good acoustics that is slightly drier on the stage for the singers, so that you can understand the text, you need more reverberation in the pit for the music, and this is something which is very difficult to find and acoustics is not a perfect science. And I think we are very lucky and it is a very very special and particular pleasure to conduct in this theatre."
- Embargoed: 20th September 2012 13:00
- Location: Russian Federation
- Country: Russia
- Reuters ID: LVA47QPCH8XYFVUPZGYBPO02NH0W
- Story Text: The Bolshoi, Russia's most remarkable ballet and opera house, opens its 237th season hosting Milan's La Scala with the long-awaited 'Don Giovanni'.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera will premiere in Bolshoi on Thursday (September 6), with the La Scala's renowned music director and conductor Daniel Barenboim at the podium.
Russian audience will see an unusual staging of 'Don Giovanni', which has already provoked a wave of discussion in Italian media after last season premiere.
The Italians literally brought La Scala into the Bolshoi, reproducing the main Italian theatre's stage and audience hall in various dimensions on Bolshoi's main stage.
The two theatres merging on one stage was quite symbolic, Barenboim told Reuters at the dress rehearsal on Tuesday (September 4).
"It is an institution, it is a theatre that has represented its nation, Russia, in a way that very few theatres have in the rest of the world. When one thinks of Russia and Russian culture one can not avoid thinking about Bolshoi and in that respect it has something very important in common with La Scala, which is the same thing for Italy," Barenboim said.
Spectators will also see a giant mirror placed on the stage, which will reflect the audience hall of the Bolshoi. The actors will appear in various parts of the hall, this way bringing the opera closer to the audience and giving it a three-dimensional modernist finish.
Don Giovanni played by Peter Mattei won heavy applause from the Moscow audience during the dress rehearsal on Tuesday. Mattei, who have played his character for over 20 years in various theatres, said his Don Giovanni was a simple character.
"In a way it is to give everyone - not only women, but men also, - what they want. It is a very simple Don Giovanni in that way, he gives what you want and then you are happy, and then you give back," Mattei said.
His partner Anna Prohasko, playing the role of young Zerlina, explained why Mattei's character was so irresistible.
"I think in this production, since we have a very crazy Don Giovanni, a mad Don Giovanni, Peter Mattei, he is like a magician, like a trixter, and he changes a moment, he surprises you, he surprises you as a woman and plays with you and with your feelings and that's what makes him incredibly special and attractive. And he is not one of these normal guys," Prohasko said.
La Scala, which has already been to Moscow with its 'Midsummer Night's Dream' ballet last year, this time has brought a more provocative show which may upset Russia's conservative audience.
Bolshoi has already provoked indignation of Orthodox part of society after a controversial staging of the classical 'Golden Cockerel' opera which caused a stir among church activists this year.
However, the music director and the actors seemed pleased with the audience's reaction and the theatre conditions so far .
"What I can tell you is that the Bolshoi has a remarkably - and I am not saying this to be polite - remarkably good acoustics, both for concert and for opera, because it is very rare. Since for opera the good acoustics that is slightly drier on the stage for the singers, so that you can understand the text, you need more reverberation in the pit for the music, and this is something which is very difficult to find and acoustics is not a perfect science. And I think we are very lucky and it is a very very special and particular pleasure to conduct in this theatre," Barenboim said.
'Don Giovanni' will run in Bolshoi on September 6, 8 and 10.
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