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UNLV Opera Theater Presents New Twist on Classic "Don Giovanni" March 16-18

This contemporary take on the classic Don Juan story raises the issue of sexual harassment and abuse in present day Hollywood using Mozart’s 18th century operatic masterpiece.
Arts and Culture  |  Mar 5, 2018  |  By Jennifer Vaughan
Media Contact: Jennifer Vaughan, 702/895-1575
Judy Bayley Theatre

Judy Bayley Theatre

UNLV Opera Theater, in conjunction with the UNLV Symphony Orchestra, presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Don Giovanni" in the Judy Bayley Theatre March 16-18. David Ward is guest director, with Wes Kenney as guest conductor. Students from the Entertainment Engineering & Design program are building the set.

In this contemporary take on the classic Don Juan story, Don Giovanni is the most powerful man in Hollywood. He rules the film industry, but appears to be guilty of sexual abuse, possibly even rape - raising the issue of sexual harassment and abuse in present day Hollywood using Mozart’s 18th century operatic masterpiece. Don Giovanni abuses three women: Donna Anna, a reigning film star; Donna Elvira, a woman he promised to marry; and Zerlina, a young actress looking for her first big break. Starting with the death of Donna Anna’s father at the hand of Don Giovanni, we follow these three women as they try to come to terms with the man who has radically altered their lives. This new look at a dashing hero casts doubt on just how romantic this man really was. Will Giovanni get away with it or face justice?

Double-cast to provide more opportunities for the singers of UNLV Opera. The cast includes Don Giovanni (Philip Harris and Michael Parham); Leporello (Christophe Kennedy); Donna Anna (Joan Sobel and Mariah Wilcox); Don Ottavio (Chris Martin and Daveon Bolden); Donna Elvira (Karin Hochman and Casey Dakus); Zerlina (Tamara Richards and Moriah Berry); Masetto (Kurt Sedlmeir and Mark McCreery); and Il Commendatore (Richard Hodges).

The production and design team includes assistant director Bonita Bunt, scenic designer and technical director Michael Genova, lighting designer Javier Moreno, stage manager Jennifer Holland, orchestra preparation by Bill Bernatis, assistant Maya Sprouse, and vocal coach Semyon Rozin.

Ward is the Director of the Crane Opera Ensemble at the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam where he serves as a Visiting Assistant Professor.  This year he directs a double-bill of Gianni Schicchi and Buoso’s Ghost as well as The Pirates of Penzance.  He recently completed an appointment as Visiting Opera Director and Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas in Denton where he staged Le nozze di Figaro, A Little Night Music and Dialogues of the Carmelites last season.

Tickets are $25, with discounts available. To purchase tickets, visit the Performing Arts Center website or call 702-895-ARTS (2787).