This opera’s intimate Mozart had not been given on the stage of the Chorégies of Orange since 1996. And for good reason: stage directors and performers are apprehensive to give this work, designed for Italian-style theatres, in the immense roman amphitheater for 6,000 spectators. Nothing of a nature to intimidate the audacious Jean-Louis Grinda, who seems to make fun of this challenge. “In its construction it gave the theatre with intimate scenes, so why not today to the opera?”, he asked.

see ALSO Jean-Louis Grinda: “I want the best for the Chorégies of Orange”

This new production is full of qualities: a distribution shining first, served by a mise en scene of the original, not to say disarming – and, finally, an orchestra that knows how to take the best advantage of the place. Davide Livermore, the director, has recourse to technologies of the “mapping” to create the décor: projections of three-dimensional images that restructure the wall of the amphitheatre in the castle moving. Spectacular effect guaranteed.

Don Giovanni, social work?

Davide Livermore also like to play on anachronisms, as these modern cars which rub shoulders on the stage of horse-drawn carriages. Ditto for the costumes, which mix period dress and current fashion. A shift that reflects, in a hollow, a political point of view. Don Juan is the echo of a form of class struggle. “Don Giovanni has a need for rules to destroy them so that the Commander wants the chaos to formalize,” explains the director. “In our time, it is undoubtedly the human reactionary who wins. Our time is the triumph of the Commander. In other times in the past, like the 1960s, it is the quest that has dominated, with the research of other molds and other visions. The certainty against the ideal security against the unpredictability.”

So, these mixtures of costumes, means of locomotion, of speech to illustrate the confrontation of the ages: the Commander is the dominant figure of our time, and Don Giovanni the Xviii century, the era of revolutions.

Karine Deshayes, a Donna Elvira exceptional Chorégie Orange – Watch on Figaro Live

so Many choices that give the drama a serious tone while being resolutely lightweight. The distribution is carried out by Erwin Schrott, a baritone-bass who in his career has played all the roles of this opera! After the Commander, Mazetto and Leporello, he portrays this time a great Don Giovanni, arguably the best of the moment. At his side, Karine Deshayes is absolutely sublime in the role of Donna Elvira, as well vocally as theatrically.

This opera is the culmination of a program where, next operas, dancing with the Ballets de Monte Carlo as well as the 8th of Mahler or even the evening with the electro of Jeff Mills with symphony orchestra gave a new breath to the Chorégies.

Don Giovanni, Friday 2 and Tuesday 6 August to 21h30au ancient theatre of Orange.