CCM opens its Mainstage opera series with one of the most performed and revered operas in the entire repertoire, Mozart’s Don Giovanni. CCM Professor of Opera and Distinguished Artist in Residence Nicholas Muni directs the talented students of CCM in this timeless tale of a philandering man, his many conquests and his ultimate condemnation. Don Giovanni runs February 9-12 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater on the University of Cincinnati campus.
Note: This production features adult themes and situations and is intended for mature audiences.
Based on the Don Juan legend, Mozart’s Don Giovanni is a tale of seduction, comedy and the supernatural as the perennial womanizer does everything in his power to get what he desires. After a cataloged 2,065 seductions, Giovanni finds himself facing the consequences of his many transgressions in Mozart’s masterwork, considered by many as the greatest opera ever composed.
Jonathan Stinson, a second-year Doctoral student, is one of the two CCM students tackling the title role in Don Giovanni. Although he has played the role before, Stinson is embracing the new vision that director Nicholas Muni has for this oft-performed warhorse of the operatic repertoire. “This production is a balance of modern and traditional at the same time,” explains Stinson. “We’re not changing the story at all, but the motivation and character development leads to a very novel and particular take on the opera. We’re going really deep into what Nic [the director] calls the ‘psychological drama.’ What is the state of mind of someone that goes through the things these characters are going through?”
In particular, the fundamental characterization of Giovanni himself is completely different for Stinson. “It’s easy to conclude that Giovanni is merely a villain, the guy who’s raping and killing people. But psychologically and emotionally, our version of Giovanni is having quite a different effect on the other characters, and we don’t see that in most productions. What’s interesting is the gray area: Giovanni is described multiple times in the opera as a man that seduces women through consolation. Meaning, they’re having a rough time in their lives, and they’re very vulnerable and in this state of vulnerability they are unable to resist him. They may have regrets afterward, but they are, temporarily at least, willing lovers. So there’s a gray area about whether or not the lovemaking is actually rape or if it’s consensual.”
The stock characterization of Giovanni as the shameless libertine, therefore, gets tossed aside in Stinson’s interpretation. “Giovanni says ‘è tutto amore‘ (it’s all love) when he describes his attitude toward women: I take him at his word with that. If he’s honestly falling in love in the moment, then these women are recognizing that honesty in him and being seduced by that. Otherwise, all of these women are falling for his falseness, and the inference is that all women are either unintelligent or sexually promiscuous. I think there’s much more to it than that.”
Don Giovanni will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.
About Nicholas Muni
Having directed over two hundred productions with companies in North America, Europe and Australia, Nic Muni’s bold, no-holds-barred style and innovative ideas make him an opera director for the 21st-century. His vision is unique, whether rethinking the standard repertoire and creating new twists to old favorites, or bringing engaging and accessible new or less familiar works to life.
A native of New Jersey, Muni received his formal education at Oberlin Conservatory of Music in vocal performance, conducting and theater work. He has held positions with Kentucky Opera, the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Development Program, Tulsa Opera and most recently Cincinnati Opera as artistic director. His varied career includes directing numerous world and American premieres with composers such as Libby Larsen, Robert Moran, Lorenzo Ferrero and William Bolcom. His productions have been seen on the stages of Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, San Francisco Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Minnesota Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Vancouver Opera and many other highly regarded opera companies throughout the world. Muni also has directed Young Artist productions at Wolf Trap, San Francisco Opera Merola Program, Indiana University, the Manhattan School of Music, the New England Conservatory of Music and the Eastman School of Music.
He was the 2003 winner of the Cincinnati Post’s Post-Corbett Award for Individual Artist of the Year and winner of a 2003 Dora Award (Toronto, Canada) for best theater production of the year (Jenufa at Canadian Opera Company). Muni’s productions at CCM include The Crucible, Albert Herring, Une éducation manquée, Le pauvre matelot, Werther, Così fan tutte, Ariadne auf Naxos, Postcard from Morocco and Of Mice and Men.
- Thursday, Feb. 9, 8 p.m.
- Friday, Feb. 10, 8 p.m.
- Saturday, Feb. 11, 2 and 8 p.m.
- Sunday, Feb. 12, 2 p.m.
Patricia Corbett Theater, College-Conservatory of Music
University of Cincinnati
Tickets & Parking Information
Tickets to Don Giovanni are $29 for adults ($27 matinee) and $19 for students ($17 matinee). $11 student rush tickets will be available for the Saturday matinee beginning at 1 p.m. on Feb. 11; limit two rush tickets per student ID. Parking is available in the CCM Garage (at the base of Corry Boulevard off of Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus.
For complete ticket and parking information, visit ccm.uc.edu or call the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183.
Don Giovanni Cast List
- Don Giovanni: Luis Alejandro Orozco* and Jonathan Stinson~
- Leoporello: Thomas Richards* and Nicholas Ward~
- Don Pedro, Commander: Zach Owen* and Will Tvrdik~
- Donna Anna: Amanda Woodbury* and Holly Cameron~
- Don Ottavio: Yi Li* and Ian McEuan~
- Donna Elvira: Karen Chia-Ling Ho* and Samina Aslam~
- Masetto: Christopher Brandon Morales* and Andrew Lovato~
- Zerlina: Alisa Suzanne Jordheim* and Abigail Santos Villalobos~
- Ensemble: Derrell Acon, Danielle Adams, Michael Alcorn, Melisa Bonetti, Allan Chan, Samuel Chan, Sakinah Davis, Jasmine Habersham, Molly Hanes, Kayliegh Howland**, W. Jermaine Jackson, Josephine Keenan**, Erin Keesy, Michael Andrew King, Elliana Kirsch, John McCarthy, Katie McGonagle, Reilly Nelson, Emmett O’Hanlon, James Onstad, Zach Owen, Lauren Pollock, Cody Quattlebaum, Adrienne Sereta, Cesar Silvagnoli, Will Tvrdik,Autumn West, Abigail Whittle
- Jung-Hyun Cho, conductor
- Nicholas Muni, director
- Mark Halpin, Scenic Designer
- Reba Senske, Costume Designer
- Suseon Bak, Wig & Make-Up Designer
- Alan Hanson, Lighting Designer
- Douglas P. Wilken, Sound Designer
- k. Jenny Jones, Fight Choreographer
- Terry Lusk, Musical Preparation
- Alice M. Flanders, Stage Manager
CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s