Season in review: Palm Beach arts critics name favorite shows and exhibitions
Palm Beach Opera: Mozart’s Don Giovanni
Feb. 22, Kravis Center
A new take on the greatest opera ever written: Director Kristine McIntyre rethought the work as a 1940s Hollywood film noir. It was pretty presumptuous, but it worked surprisingly well. Think George Raft or Humphrey Bogart in the title part, Ida Lupino or Lauren Bacall among the women and you’ll get the idea.
McIntyre and conductor David Stern trimmed out about 30 minutes of the score, including two solo arias and the entire moralizing epilogue, resulting in a fast-moving, cinematic show that had particular relevance for the way women are still being treated in the 21 st century. Things haven’t changed as much as we’d like to think.
Depicting the last day in the life of history’s legendary womanizer, McIntyre emphasized the rape of Donna Anna (Caitlin Lynch), the abandonment of the unstable Donna Elvira (Danielle Pastin) and the almost-but-not-quite willing seduction of the gullible Zerlina (Danielle MacMillan) by a gangster-type macho man who got his retribution here by means of a pistol shot, rather than the traditional descent to Hell. Andrei Bondarenko was not the most charismatric seducer, but Joshua Bloom almost stole the show as the Don’s sidekick Leporello, and the quality of the singing was excellent right down the roster.
- ROBERT CROAN