"Don Giovanni", Mozart's masterpiece, was written and performed for the first time in 1787, two years before the French Revolution. The opera is set in a time of social upheaval, its characters all at the mercy of this radical change: They are processing the dissolving erotic era, of which Giovanni arises and which he seems to incorporate at first. But at the same time he represents a utopia: a world without limits, a world of absolute personal freedom, in which everybody can claim what he wants – without considering any consequences. Especially the three women Elvira, Anna, and Zerlina fall for the incredible power of this man, who according to his servant Leporello has seduced over 2000 women.
The themes that Mozart dealt with so poignantly over two centuries ago are as grippingly relevant today, the circumstances of Don Giovanni's society may well be familiar to towns in the Ukraine of today. Places where people dream of a different way to live, a different way to love, a different way of organizing society. We long to live as freely as possible, but must be tethered by social and moral rules. The people of today wear as many masks as the people of 1787, and we may hope – yet fear – casting them off.
Music Overcomes Walls An opera project in the Luhansk region