adapted by Grzegorz Jarzyna
music adaptation: Jacek Grudzień
set design: Magdalena Maciejewska
costume design: Wojciech Dziedzic
lighting design: Jacqueline Sobiszewski
video projections: Bartek Macias
choreography: Maćko Prusak
sound: Piotr Domiński
Giovanni Andrzej Chyra (actor of Nowy Teatr in Warsaw)
Leporello Cezary Kosiński
Donna Anna Danuta Stenka
Donna Elvira Maja Ostaszewska (actress of Nowy Teatr in Warsaw)
Commendatore Remigiusz Łukomski
Zerlina Roma Gąsiorowska
Masetto Eryk Lubos
Ottavio Tomasz Tyndyk
Father Zygmunt Malanowicz
Opera's Director Stanisław Sparażyński
Violetta Szopa-Tomczyk - I violin
Małgorzata Feldgebel - II violin
Artur Łuczak - viola
Justyna Rekść-Raubo - violoncello
The production features a recording of the Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera Orchestra conducted by Łukasz Borowicz
The performance is a discussion with the myth and with the opera that is often called the opera work of all time. Jarzyna examines who Don Giovanni is today, how much of its strength the myth has retained, he analyses various kinds of love addiction, as represented by the three heroines: Anna, Elvira, and Zerlina. In his theatrical search, he also includes the categories of void and disappointment, which turn out to be an important though destructive driving force of Giovanni's conduct.
The production has an unusual theatrical form, as it is a meeting with opera presented by actors. Jarzyna's intention is to try to read opera in terms of theatre.
Grzegorz Jarzyna on Giovanni:
I am interested in the inter-genre space of theatre language, I think this will continue for the next few years. A combining of genres... When I was doing Cosi Fan Tutte [at Poznań's Teatr Wielki], my aim was theatre in opera. How far can you go with singers in telling a story? What keeps irritating me in opera is that it is not about telling a story, everything is artificial. Opera originated from theatre after all, but theatre came from dithyramb, music, movement. I thought that since the opera world is so hurt by the fact that their world is being destroyed, it would be easier and more interesting for me (and for the audience, I hope) to invite opera to the theatre; to work with actors like you do with singers. In Cosi, I was interested in turning opera singers into actors, the coaching was aimed at telling a story like you would in theatre. Here, it will be slightly different. I think the result will be interesting, more radical...
I wrote the script for this anti-opera three years ago during a holiday. Before Risk Everything, I was supposed to produce Don Giovanni in Germany. Luckily the plan failed. I took on too many stars, it turned out impossible to have actors Thomas Ostermeier and Frank Castorf together. It would have meant building on sand. Today I am convinced the best cast for this project is the TR ensemble. In Germany I was fascinated by the fact that actors were so formal; in fact they use Meyerhold's technique... Their technique is also a form, and I realized opera could not be broken up with the help of form, but with the help of emotions, with the same thing that is breaking up theatre, namely truth.
During rehearsals in Poznań, I had moments when I thought I would never return to theatre, I was all over the place, I had tears in my eyes at rehearsals. When opera artists start to sing, they are in a different dimension, they are a medium, their bodies are made to be a medium. It's extraordinary. I hope we manage to combine their energy with the emotional energy that comes from telling the story of individual human lives. These are not just instruments for singing, but real people who go through ups and downs. Will it work? I don't know. It's a fifty-fifty chance - but even that in itself is interesting.
From Maryla Zielińska's interview with Grzegorz Jarzyna, Didaskalia (February 2006)
premiered: 21, 22 September 2006
approximate running time: 2 h 20 min. (one intermission)
The play is performed on Chamber Stage of Teatr Wielki, pl. Teatralny 1; tickets on sale at TR Warszawa