Preview: Don Giovanni at the Palace

  • Bruce Zinger photo
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From the November 24, 2011 edition

As far as playboys go, Don Giovanni’s up there with the most accomplished of them. The title character of one of Mozart’s most popular operas slept with 640 women in Italy, 231 in Germany and 1,003 in Spain, not to mention his visits to France and Turkey. Beat that, Casanova.

Opera Columbus has partnered with Toronto’s Opera Atelier to bring the ladies’ man’s story to the Southern Theatre this week. The plot of “Don Giovanni” has been borrowed by many films and TV shows, soprano Peggy Kriha Dye pointed out.

“It’s the story of a lover boy who thinks he can get away with everything. You can see in this opera three different women that he is going after and how completely different they are, but they all fall for this irresistible bad boy,” said Kriha Dye, who plays Donna Elvira and is also director of education and programming for Opera Columbus.

Donna Elvira is the craziest, most vengeful of those three women. Mozart gave the actresses portraying her the freedom to do things rarely seen in operas — hitting other characters, for instance.

“My hands used to sting after rehearsals because I’d be slapping and slapping and slapping,” Kriha Dye said, laughing. “That’s fun, even though I do like my colleagues.”

The enjoyment the cast feels in putting on the show radiates into the audience.

“This production is special because it’s funny not just every now and then. You will laugh out loud the entire evening,” she said.