Center for the Arts and Virginia Opera Present Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’

Posted: February 19, 2010 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: February 18, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Houston Grand Opera - "Don Giovanni," Brett Coomer

Virginia Opera brings the intense passion and dark humor of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” to the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Friday, Feb. 26, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 28, at 2 p.m.

This 17th-century twisted tale of seduction and deceit is inspired by the legend of “Don Juan,” the world’s greatest lover and cad.

Set in Seville, Spain, this classic melodramatic comedy tells the tale of an arrogant nobleman and reckless rake who seduces women before carelessly tossing them away. This notorious scoundrel has a list of amorous conquests so long it takes his servant an aria just to name them all.

The Don’s former lovers pursue him attempting to get revenge, but in the end, this devious rogue gets his comeuppance when he refuses to repent from his evil ways. This luscious production is filled with deep human tragedy and uproarious comedy, as well as Mozart’s rapturous score, which thrilled audiences when the opera debuted in 1787.

Universally acclaimed for her powerful and expressive voice and her electric stage presence, soprano Cristina Nassif returns to sing the role of tormented Donna Elvira. Nassif has performed for Virginia Opera in “I Pagliacci,”  “Carmen,” “La Traviata” and “The Magic Flute.”

Soprano Nicolle Foland makes her Virginia Opera debut as the enraged Donna Anna, who with her fiancé Don Ottavio, pursue Don Giovanni, seeking vengeance for the murder of her father.

Baritone Matthew Worth makes his Virginia Opera debut as the seductive title character living through his libido only to find retribution through his passage into the flames of hell.

Another returning favorite is Lillian Groag (“Il Trovatore,” “Tales of Hoffmann,” “Agrippina,” “Tristan & Isolde,” “Turandot” and “Fidelio”) who brings her directorial expertise and passion to “Don Giovanni.”

Associate Artistic Director and Associate Conductor Joseph Walsh will lead the orchestra. Walsh artfully conducted Virginia Opera’s production of Donizetti’s “The Daughter of the Regiment” in 2009—the company’s first production of the opera since 1979.

This production of “Don Giovanni” is entirely new with scenic design by Erhard Rom, lighting design by Mark McCullough and fight choreography by Gregg C. Lloyd. The set was built by Virginia Opera’s production team of Dave Young and Jason Tuthill during the summer of 2009 in Norfolk, Va.

The Virginia Symphony Orchestra accompanies the production, which is sung in Italian with English Digitext Supertitles projected above the stage.

A discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III. Pre-performance discussions are sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.

Tickets are $86, $72 and $44 (Friday), and $98, $80 and $48 (Sunday). Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit

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