Arts & Events

Updated: Merola’s Muddled Production of Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday August 01, 2014 - 11:23:00 AM

Young American director James Darrah, who recently excelled as production designer and director of San Francisco Symphony’s highly successful semi-staged production of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, failed to live up to his own high standards in tackling Merola Opera’s production of Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI. At the opening night performance on July 31 at Everett Auditorium in San Francisco, Darrah opted for a unitary stage-set for the entire opera, making it serve all pur-poses as an artist’s studio, a party scene, the home of Donna Anna and her father, the Commendatore, and much else. Tables and chairs got pushed around (by Lep-orello), and the back wall seemed to serve as a kind of bulletin board where Don Giovanni, here portrayed as an artist, hung photographs or sketches of his latest conquests. (At least that’s what I think the various pieces of paper stuck onto the back wall are supposed to offer. However, try as I might, I could not actually see what was on those pieces of paper.) -more-