This Sunday afternoon, Ildebrando D’Arcangelo sings the title role in San Francisco Opera‘s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. His history with the role goes back a long way, but he says the director gets to decide (mostly) the way the character is portrayed. There are eight performances between this Sunday and June 30th.
There’s more information about the production at the San Francisco Opera website.
D’Arcangelo says this production, directed by Jacopo Spirei, scales down some of the usual stage design, and is more reliant on acting, with a large mirror and projections showing the psychology of the drama. “Usually, you have a set, complete, and then many many kind of pictures, but here we have only a mirror. Jacopo works a lot about the acting, so we talk a lot about the colors, about the face and movements… When I speak, I try to find every time the right color. And this is the challenge. It’s really important to find maybe the sound of the seduction, or maybe when I say to Leporello something rude…” He’s performed the role a hundred times, but says the interpretation has to ultimately be decided by the director. “Of course, after all of these kinds of performance, you have an idea. But I think my job is just to represent the idea of the director. I can talk with him about my idea, his idea, and try to find a combination, but 90 percent, I think, I need to do his idea and not mine.”