Mozart's Don Giovanni

July 01 2017

We saw the SF Opera perform Mozart’s Don Giovanni today. It was the first time I’ve seen it live, although the piece has always had a special place in my heart. This was also our first time seeing the SF Opera. The singers were quite good, but I was underwhelmed by the orchestra.

The overture to Don Giovanni was one of the excerpts I had to play when I auditioned for the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra. In typical Mozart fashion, the music is sharp, simple, and brisk. Also like all Mozart - it’s way harder to play that it sounds. It really should be played at a very fast pace, which means all the little string flurries have to be really light and precise. The SF Opera orchestra was pretty mediocre here - very muddled and not clear at all.

Overall, this was a good performance. I was surprised with how funny and charming it is, despite being over 300 years old. The entire opera is a comedy until the end, when Don Giovanni descends into hell to answer for all his sins and transgressions.

Topics: MusicMusic:ConcertsMusic:MahlerMusic:San Francisco Symphony

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