The Polish theatre troupe comes to Amsterdam at the special invitation of festival artistic director Pierre Audi to perform the classic play under the direction of Grzegorz Jarzyna. The play by Warsaw's TR presents a remarkable theatrical form, in which the opera is performed by dramatic actors.
The performances are proving to among the most highly noted at the festival in Amsterdam, which has over 60 years of history under its belt. Pierre Audi describes the event as a panoramic glimpse at the world through culture - a combination of music, theatre, dance, opera, literature and visual arts.
For Grzegorz Jarzyna, the starting point for theatrical debate is Mozart's Don Giovanni and Moliere's Don Juan, but most of all the hero himself, a figure so deeply rooted in European history. Following the second performance of Giovanni, the audience will have the chance to meet with the director and his cast from the TR:Teatr Rozmaitości troupe.
"What continues to annoy me in opera is that it doesn't tell the story, that everything is fake," said Grzegorz Jarzyna in a recent interview. "And yet opera takes root in theatre, and theatre came from the dithyramb, music, movement. I thought that since the opera world is so hurt by the fact that their world is being destroyed, then it will be more interesting for me - and audiences too, I hope - to invite the opera into the theatre. To work with actors as I would with singers."
Jarzyna explores who Don Giovanni is today. Assuming that the myth has preserved its strength, he analyses various romantic dependencies, represented by the three female leads: Anna, Elvira and Zerlina. His theatrical pursuit also enters the realm of emptiness and disappointment, which turns out to be an important, if destructive, factor behind Giovanni's actions:
As opera singers begin to sing, they enter another dimension," says the director describing his experiences in the field of opera, "their bodies are made to act as media. This is unbelievable. I hope that it's possible to unite their energy with the emotional energy that comes from telling the story of the fates of certain people. Opera singers are not just instruments for singing, but real people who experience their rise and fall.
Jarzyna's intention is to read opera through the category of theatre. The director engages ina debate with Mozart's myth and work, one that has often been called the greatest opera of all time. He admits that at first he thought about an anti-opera, but in the end he arrived at a tribute to the art of opera through theatre.
based on Mozart's Don Giovanni and Moliere's Don Juan, text adaptation, musical adaptation and direction: Grzegorz Jarzyna; co-author of text adaptation: Piotr Gruszczyński; music consultant and producer: Jacek Grudzień; set designer: Magdalena Maciejewska; costumes: Wojciech Dziedzic; lights: Jacqueline Sobiszewski; projections: Bartek Macias; choreographer: Maćko Prusak; sound and background music: Piotr Domiński; actors: Roma Gąsiorowska, Maja Ostaszewska, Danuta Stenka, Andrzej Chyra, Cezary Kosiński, Eryk Lubos, Remigiusz Łukomski, Zygmunt Malanowicz, Tomasz Tyndyk, Stanisław Sparażyński, with Jan Dravnel, Piotr Głowacki, Jakub Snochowski; musical quartet: Justyna Rekść-Raubo, Małgorzata Feldgebel, Violetta Szopa-Tomczyk, Artur Łuczak; recordings by: Orchestra of the Great Theatre-National Opera conducted by Łukasz Borowicz; soloists: Izabela Kłosińska, Katarzyna Trylnik, Agata Zubel, Rafał Bartmiński, Wojciech Gierlach, Adam Kruszewski, Piotr Nowacki; premiered: September 21, 2006; performances at the Holland Festival: June 22-23, 2010.
ul. Marszałkowska 8, 00-590 Warsaw
Managing Director and Artistic Director: Grzegorz Jarzyna
Deputy Director: Tomasz Janowski
tel. (+48 22) 480 80 09
tel./fax (+48 22) 480 80 02
Source: press materials, www.hollandfestival.nl, www.trwarszawa.pl