Opera On Location, 2018
It’s easy to view Don Giovanni as a condemnation of the wrongs that are done to women, but through its extremes, it is in danger of becoming a way for all of us who do lesser wrongs to excuse ourselves — because none of us are as bad as Giovanni.
It has always been easy to see Don Giovanni as a caricature — a storybook villain dragged to hell for his sins. Then, the women surrounding him become Mozart’s mere ciphers to illustrate Giovanni’s moral depravity. And for over 250 years, audiences have enjoyed watching Giovanni get his just desserts. We all empathise with Giovanni's victims and share a gleeful fascination with seeing the guilty punished for that which they have previously gotten away with.
Set in 2018, this modern, fast-paced production explored the opera’s themes of power, privilege and sexual assault which are as relevant today as they were when the piece was written in 1787. Inspired by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, Opera on Location are proud to be exploring the relationships between men and women following the “Weinstein Effect.”
Don Giovanni's behaviour isn't out of a storybook or lost in the annals of history. Instead it hits far too close to home. Perhaps we can find a new relevance for this 250 year old piece of art through the acknowledgement that not enough has changed. In the era of #metoo, the real tragedy of Don Giovanni is that he is far too relatable, too real. Too now.