A traditional story with a modern twist

Students took part in the famous Don Giovanni opera in the Setnor Auditorium Friday.

The Setnor Opera Workshop performed Don Giovanni in Crouse College on Friday in front of a packed audience.

Arguably Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s most popular opera, Don Giovanni premiered in 1787 with music composed by Mozart and an Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte and is based on the legend of Don Juan.

The original work’s classical setting was changed and configured to modern times in this production. Leather jackets, gelled hair, guns and cell phones replaced corsets, wigs, swords and quills. Produced and directed by Associate Professor Eric Johnson, with a live orchestra, eight principal characters and a chorus, the opera was beautifully sung in English. The actors’ performances encouraged audience members to relate to the artists on stage. Despite the drama’s traditional storyline, the multiple anachronisms incorporated humor into the performance.

With comic relief juxtaposing the story’s dramatic nature, the audience was in an uproar of laughter. Of course, the performance would not have been as fantastic without Alexander Alpert playing Don Giovanni, Dylan Hsu as his servant Leporello and several females whose hearts were constantly broken by Don Giovanni. Alpert’s masculinity, firm jaw line, looming height, stage presence and commanding voice made him the perfect bachelor, while Hsu’s opposing characteristics created a strong bond between the two, which allowed them to deliver brilliant performances. Likewise, all other cast members sang angelically. However, the dynamic duo was inseparable and undefeated.

Well-trained actors, fantastic singers and naturally skilled performers made the night memorable. Regardless of the real age of Don Giovanni, the opera was engaging to the modern audience, and the cast worked together superbly in making the drama come to life. As a true reward to the night’s performers and musicians, the audience clapped vivaciously and the play was received with a standing ovation at the end. A traditional story with a modern twist indeed, the opera had success written all over it.

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