Don Gio­vanni: On the Scent of a Wo­man莫扎特的道德原則

《唐璜》— 莫扎特的道德原則

Vision Magazine - - Contents - ENGLISH TEXT BY GABY KLIKA作者:金翼

Just in time for the city’s 50th an­niver­sary of the Sum­mer of Love, the San Fran­cisco Opera pre­sented

Don Gio­vanni, the sec­ond of Mozart’s three bril­liant col­lab­o­ra­tions with Ital­ian li­bret­tist, Lorenzo Da Ponte.

This enig­matic opera cen­tres on a wealthy, pow­er­ful, charis­matic aris­to­crat with­out a moral com­pass who se­duces women by the thou­sands (or so we are led to be­lieve) and mor­tally wounds the fa­ther of one of his vic­tims in a duel. Con­sid­er­ing him­self above the law and hav­ing breath­less fun while break­ing so many tabus, his damna­tion is in­evitable. From the first dark d-mi­nor chords switch­ing abruptly to sunny D-ma­jor, the opera is a roller-coaster of dra­matic shifts, de­cep­tions and emo­tional up­heavals un­til the moral of the story is re­vealed. Since its first per­for­mance in Prague 230 years ago, many have de­bated the peren­nial ques­tion of its mean­ing which ac­counts for this masterpiece be­ing one of the most fre­quently per­formed and best loved op­eras of all times.

What then is this opera’s un­set­tling, univer­sal ap­peal? Ja­copo Spirei, the di­rec­tor of the Sf­opera’s pro­duc­tion, likens our fas­ci­na­tion to “watch­ing a tor­nado”. “It feeds off our pri­mal fears of hell, devils, se­duc­tion, crime”, it is “ex­cit­ing, ac­tion-packed and chal­leng­ing but not too un­com­fort­ably so”, and Gio­vanni is such a “won­der­fully se­duc­tive crea­ture”. We may even feel “ad­mi­ra­tion for him be­cause he does not re­pent in the end, he is not a coward in the face of death.” And, “we can re­late to all the char­ac­ters be­cause they rep­re­sent dif­fer­ent as­pects of the hu­man con­di­tion.” Be­sides, Mozart’s mu­sic “has the best be­gin­ning and best end­ing ever writ­ten!”

由於歌劇 《費加羅的婚禮》在布拉格的轟動,意大利龐蒂尼劇院重金特邀莫扎特再為布拉格創作一部歌劇,莫扎特欣然接受。為此,他選中了歐洲家喻戶曉的人物唐璜為題材,苦苦伏案一個夏天,在開幕式上演的當天早上,交出了最後譜寫的序曲手稿。1787年 10 月29日,《唐璜》首演於布拉格劇院,莫扎特親自擔任指揮,他一登場,即掌聲雷動,演出讚譽如潮,大獲成功。


Give up women? Are you crazy? I need them more than my daily bread, more than the air I breath!” (Don Gio­vanni, Act II, Scene 1)

Spirei also notes that this opera is a hastily pro­duced se­quel to the hugely suc­cess­ful Mar­riage of Fi­garo and has many “com­pli­ca­tions” mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to stage. His ap­proach to such a chal­lenge is “to tell the story that works on many lev­els and speaks to the widest group of peo­ple.” He also stresses that his di­rect­ing style is as a “leader of a re­search group ef­fort”. “I know the taste I want, the feel­ing I want to get out of it, but the path is al­ways dis­cov­ered in re­hearsal and is al­ways unique to the peo­ple I have.”

For such a col­lab­o­ra­tion it is Spirei’s “dream” to work with as ac­com­plished a singer in the ti­tle role as Ilde­brando D’ar­can­gelo. Hav­ing por­trayed Gio­vanni in di­verse pro­duc­tions all over the world, D’ar­can­gelo sees his char­ac­ter as a force of na­ture “full of en­ergy, who lives to­tally in the mo­ment” and nd “loves women his way, which may ap­pear wrong to us.” It is all about the ex­cite­ment of the chase. Gio­vanni's only “real se­duc­tion is death.”

Can opera still be rel­e­vant to­day? Spirei is adamant: “Cul­ture is as es­sen­tial as food…it is what keeps us hu­man.”







Ilde­brando D'ar­can­gelo in the ti­tle role with An­drea Sil­vestrelli (Com­men­ta­tore) Photo credit: Sf­opera©cory Weaver

 Ja­copo Spirei (Photo credit: ©Mary Mar­sha­nia) Sarah Shafer  (Zer­lina) sur­rounded by wed­ding party (Photo credit: Sf­opera©cory Weaver)

San Fran­cisco War Memo­rial Opera House (Photo credit: ©Joel Pu­li­atti)

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