cape town opera | baxter theatre | cape town | 2013
A radically stripped down and austere Don Giovanni, played out in a plain wooden box with 5 doors on an otherwise empty stage. A strong box office success, the production caused some controversy and divided critical opinion sharply.
“★★★★ Minimalist Mozart maximises music .... Forget period costume and elaborate props; this is a no-nonsense, minimalist production of Mozart’s masterpiece ... and it works ... The result is refreshing, with a young cast to confirm the impression of vitality and dynamism ... The most challenging visual effect of the drama - the appearance of the Commendatore’s animated statue - is handled with genius and the simplest of means ... Roguish, contemporary touches give an edge to what is designed to appear timeless” CAPE ARGUS
“This adaptation of Don Giovanni offers a creative interpretation riddled with anachronistic humour under the direction of Matthew Wild. Gone are the period costumes from the 17th century ... Instead, an indeterminate modern setting is depicted with the cast in suits, trench coats and denim, armed with guns. The set is a cleverly designed stretch of five identical doorways through which background/foreground dynamics are established, enabling the intrigue demanded by the opera’s complicated plotline ... As befitting a modern take on a classical work, the production opts for a raw youthful vibe” WHATSONINCAPETOWN
“Matthew Wild’s production of Don Giovanni has none of the wacky and colourful staging we have come to expect from him. Rather its bleak, almost monotone simplicity shows up the dark soul of the unpleasant Don. The stage stripped bare of all curtaining and aesthetic trappings becomes a cold industrial cavern. A large monolithic rectangular box with five doors on one side and a space in the reverse, becomes a foreboding Stanley Kubrick-like image of the tragedy about to unfold. The stark and effective lighting design by Kobus Rossouw does little to put the audience at ease. But the sheer simplicity of the staging goes a long way to enhance the beautiful score by Mozart.” THE MONDAY MISSILE
“Wild is al bekend om sy kleurvolle operaproduksies met vele popkultuur-verwysings. Hier span hy weer elemente van sy kenmerkende styl in. Die stel is ’n groot dennehout-struktuur met vyf deure wat heen en weer geswaai word vir toneelwisselings. Karakters peul uit by die deure, speel bo-op, langs en voor die struktuur. Verder is alles kaal en gestroop, behalwe die halfkleurvolle uitrustings. Die berugte Spaanse rokjagter hou skuimpartytjies met skraps geklede meisies en mans, terwyl die ander karakters met fyn besonderhede in die regie goed gevorm is – iets wat Wild goed regkry.” DIE BURGER