July 27th

“Don Giovanni” Co-Production by Castellucci and Currentzis Opens Salzburg Festival’s Opera Programme

On July 26, the main opera programme opened at the Salzburg festival. The programme started with a production by one of the most outstanding stage directors, Romeo Castellucci, accompanied by the musicAeterna orchestra and choir under the baton of Teodor Currentzis. Along with an international cast of soloists, Currentzis and his musicians presented the premiere of Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni”. The performance has been broadcast on European and Russian TV and radio channels.

The Salzburg festival is the world’s largest and most prestigious academic music event. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the festival. The opera programme, which is considered to be the main course of the event, opened with the premiere of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”. Romeo Castellucci and Teodor Currentzis presented their version of the opera on the festival’s main stage at Festspielhaus. The performance was broadcast live by Ö1 (Austria) and Radio Romana Muzical (Romania). The subsequent performances of “Don Giovanni” will take place on July 29 as well as on August 4, 7, 10 and 20. Four radio stations are going to play the recording of the premiere: BR-Klassik (Germany, July 28 at 20:05 CEST), ARD (Germany, July 31 at 20:04 CEST), Orpheus (Russia, August 2 at 23:00 MSK), and SRF2 culture (Switzerland, August 15 at 20:00 CEST). You can also watch the premiere on ORF2 and Arte at 22:05 (CEST) on August 7.

Teodor Currentzis, conductor:

It’s something completely new, a completely new view of “Don Giovanni” that doesn’t cross the interests of the composer — in the time when stage directors change the story, because there’s nothing left to do and everything has been done, so they need to change the dramaturgy. No, here we have somebody who goes exactly with the dramaturgy. There’s nobody cut in the opera. At the same time, he brings out the truth that was always there but nobody could see that. And that’s why I feel very privileged to be in this kind of performance with a man who has such a vision.

Created for the Salzburg festival with support from V-A-C Foundation, “Don Giovanni” became the third co-production by Teodor Currentzis and Romeo Castellucci. In 2014, they presented their radical vision of “The Rite of Spring” at RUHRtriennale in Germany. Four years later, the Diaghilev Festival in Perm was opened with their “Jeanne au bûcher”, which they had produced together with Opéra National de Lyon, Perm Opera, and Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie.

Romeo Castellucci, stage director:

Working with Teodor, both of us have limitless opportunities when it comes to personification. We have the same artistic vision, and we view the purpose of art in the same way. Teodor’s work is amazing: it is passionate and fiery. He never tries to conserve anything. Whatever he is doing, it is always something contemporary and true to life. When I listened to a recording of Teodor’s “Don Giovanni”, I knew I had to accept the proposal to collaborate.

The new production features Italian baritone Davide Luciano as Don Giovanni along with Russian soprano Nadezhda Pavlova as Donna Anna. Aside from the opera premiere, musicAeterna is going to present three concert programmes over the course of the festival. On July 21, two choirs directed by Teodor Currentzis — musicAeterna and musicAeterna byzantina — performed European and Russian sacred music pieces spanning across several centuries in their Lux Aeterna programme.

On August 2, musicAeterna will play the last two symphonies by Mozart: No. 40 and No. 41. At 20:15 on August 14, the recording of the concert will be broadcast by the 3SAT TV channel (Austria). The same day will witness musicAeterna go up on one of the main stages of the festival — Felsenreitschule — to perform “The Sound of Light”, a programme of selected instrumental and vocal works by 18th-century French baroque composer Jean-Philippe Rameau. The programme is considered to be one of the highlights of musicAeterna’s repertoire.

The opera programme of the 2017 Salzburg festival started with a co-production by Teodor Currentzis and Peter Sellars, marking musicAeterna’s debut at the world’s biggest music forum. Since then, musicAeterna and Teodor Currentzis have been regular participants at the festival: in 2018, the ensemble performed the full cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies, while 2019 saw the musicAeterna choir join forces with Freiburger Barockorchester to perform Peter Sellar’s version of “Idomeneo” under the baton of Teodor Currentzis.