Out of the well-rounded Utah Festival Opera 2011 lineup, the seductive Don Giovanni—composed by Mozart, with the libretto written by Giuseppe Gazzaniga—has become the festival’s must-see performance. The clever cast has few shortcomings and exhibits incredible vocal talent.
The story follows a smooth-talking womanizer, whose pursuit of women—an “equal opportunity” policy—at any cost becomes his downfall and his undoing. Mark Womack proves to be wry, suave and diabolical enough to pull off the lead role in this melodramatic comedy. The boisterous sopranos Eleni Calenos (as the love-struck Donna Elvira) and Rochelle Bard (as Donna Anna, the vengeful daughter of the murdered Commendatore) bolstered Womack’s performance with their clear voices, filling the Ellen Eccles Theatre with the beautiful sounds of sorrow. Catch these women at UFO before they find themselves at much larger venues.
From a technical standpoint, the opera’s costumes were a feast for the eyes and the set served as a suitable backdrop for the performance, although sticky spotlights failed to follow actors on several occasion.
Don Giovanni is more accessible than Boris Godunov—the festival’s other opera. It’s a lengthy performance, one without a rapid ascension to an Act 2 climax and with seemingly drawn-out arias. However, the end is worth the wait and maintains one of the festival’s central focuses: to stay true to the creator’s original intent of Don Giovanni’s eternal damnation.
Ellen Eccles Theatre
43 S. Main, Logan
Through Aug. 6