Pocket Opera: DON GIOVANNI - MOZART
Pocket Opera: Don Giovanni
Sunday, March 3, 2pm
Advance tickets - $39: adult; $36: senior; $15: youth under 18 ($3 increase on day of show)
Pocket Opera presents professional performances of operatic works in intimate, intelligible productions at affordable prices.
Donald Pippin's approach to opera is to tell the story in the clearest manner possible. He once said that there is "a whole category of operas where, if you don't know the story on the way to the theatre, you won't know it on the way home, either." With Pocket Opera presentations it is really possible to know the plot of the opera on the way home. Pippin brings the story to life via his nationally recognized English versions of opera libretti, in which he translates the spirit of the work rather than word by word, with complete fidelity to the composer's musical intentions.
For some operas, Pippin provides a personal spoken introduction to the opera or its individual acts and scenes that offers a setting for and some explanation of the story. For others his English version of the libretto carries the entire story and drama; no narrative or introduction is needed.
Pocket Opera is a theatre of the mind and of the heart. Productions are staged with minimal costuming and without sets, using only the few practical props (a bench, a desk, a door, ...) that are essential to convey the story. A few operas, for which staging would add little or nothing to the interpretation of the story, are performed concert style. Through the use of Pippin's singable translations and narration, through accomplished vocalists and small chamber orchestra, Pocket Opera presents the essence of opera -- affordable, accessible opera of the highest musicality for contemporary audiences.
The Handel repertory is Pippin's one concession to original languages. In his words, "The arias are set pieces with no action, just generalized feelings of love, jealousy, and revenge. English doesn't enhance anything and it takes away musically. All the drama lies in the recitatives." These he dispenses with and substitutes his own narrative between Handel's arias and ensembles, sung in their original Italian.
Pocket Opera performances are accompanied by the Pocket Philharmonic, a chamber orchestra of eight to fifteen musicians, led by Donald Pippin from the piano.