Iván Fischer Will Seduce Mostly Mozart Audiences with a Fully-Staged Don Giovanni

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 12:56 PM

The big news for the 45th annual Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, announced on Wednesday, may be the nine-part focus on the decidedly non-Mozartean composer Igor Stravinsky. Stravinsky Too features conductor Pablo Heras-Casado leading concerts of the composer's works and Mark Dance Group giving the New York premiere of Renard, plus the Mostly Mozart return of the International Contemporary Ensemble.

However, among the 25 Mostly Mozart debuts this season (August 2—27), the one we're most anticipating is that of Hungarian conductor Iván Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra. A regular presence in Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series—most recently seen in January with two concerts that contrasted Haydn with, coincidentally enough, Stravinsky—Fischer and the BFO boast a strikingly profound connection onstage that has turned out some thrilling concerts for New York audiences. They up the ante this time around with a fully-staged performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, directed by Fischer himself. And since Giovanni is obsessed with the pleasures of the flesh, it only makes sense that the staging place a focus on the human body: Clad in white and playing against a black stage, 16 young actors form the set and props.  

This performance also beefs up the list of Mostly Mozart debutants with Greek soprano Myrtò Papatanasiu as Donna Elvira, Korean soprano Sunhae Im as Zerlina, Hungarian tenor Zoltán Megyesi as Don Ottavio, Italian baritone Riccardo Novaro as Masetto, Portuguese baritone José Fardilha as Leporello, Icelandic bass Kristinn Sigmundsson as the Commendatore and Greek baritone Tassis Christoyannis as Don Giovanni. Rounding out the multinational cast is American soprano Laura Aikin, returning to Mostly Mozart as Donna Anna.

While in town, Fischer also leads the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra in the composer’s rare Vesperae solennes de confessore. Also on the festival’s operatic offerings this year is a concert performance of Handel’s Orlando with Nicholas McGegan leading the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. 


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Comments [2]


I adore Fischer. Would love it if the Don Giovanni will be added to his impressive discography: http://www.channelclassics.com/productmedia/profile/view/?id=13

Jul. 14 2011 05:20 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane from BOONTON, NJ

Mostly Mozart, now Stravinsky Too, an Handel demonstrates the wider interest in the accessible being also the valued ingredient in a more diverse culture, which is the New York of today. The casting of Don Giovanni with nearly every cast member from a different national background except the Donna Elvira and Don Giovanni, promises a more open casting system than would be found in any other country. Kudos to the planners of this season's programs.

Speaking personally, I can imagine a whole new flood of audiences for a Mostly Wagner season project.

The unquestioned Golden Age of Wagner Performance for oppera was the Melchior, Flagstad, Schorr, Kipnis and Branzell "team."

Apr. 13 2011 09:01 PM

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