Our latest date night took us to the Gillioz Theatre in Springfield where we attended Mozart’s Don Giovanni. We love going to the theatre, and I haven’t been to very many operas, so I thought this would be a fun adventure! What we didn’t realize, until a few days before the opening night, was that this was a 1970s rendition of the famous opera.
Don Giovanni was premiered at the original National Theatre in Prague on October 29, 1787. The opera’s subject is Don Juan, the notorious libertine of fiction, and his eventual descent into hell. For Mozart, it was an unusually intense work, and it was not entirely understood in his own time. Within a generation, however, it was recognized as one of the greatest of all operas. (1)
An article in the Springfield News Leader reported “Under Director Jay Jackson, the upcoming production of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” by Ozarks Lyric Opera addresses the treatment of women from 1787 and in our neighboring decades. I wanted to have aspects of the costumes reminiscent of Mozart’s time, when the piece was written, but also add elements of modern haute couture as well, as iconic looks from the ’70s to make the ambiguity of the timeline come through to the audience, The show portrays women through a powerful technicolor lens, so the designs will lend to the beauty and intrigue of a complex female character.” (2)
According to their website, “The Historic Gillioz Theatre was established in 1926 with the dawning of film and the creation of route 66, referred to as the mother road, that would connect travelers across the united states. restored as a 501c-3 not-for-profit in 2006, the Gillioz center for arts & entertainment is committed to preserving the past, celebrating community, and making memories through arts, education, and entertainment.” (3)
While it was not the traditional rendition that we expected, we did enjoy the performance and due to it’s eclectic presentation, it will be one that we remember for quite a while! I highly recommend visiting the Gillioz Theatre
1. Britanica: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Don-Giovanni-opera-by-Mozart
2. Springfield News Leader: https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/local/ozarks/2023/03/12/ozarks-lyric-opera-performs-don-giovanni-under-director-jay-jackson/69977417007/
3. Gillioz Theatre: https://gillioztheatre.com/