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Last performance of Don Giovanni at La Scala

Posted June. 09, 2017 07:08,   

Updated June. 09, 2017 07:23

The city of fashion, the Milan Cathedral and "The Last Supper" by Leonardo Da Vinci…

They are what you think of Milan, a northern Italian city. A different thing might come across to classical music or opera fans: La Scala, one of the world’s best opera houses.

The opera house in downtown Milan was set up in 1779. Many operas including Verdi’s Oberto, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Turandot and Umberto Giordano’s Andrea Chenier had their premiere at the theater. It is a go-to place for opera fans.

You can tour the theater every day. While it costs as much as nine euros just to look down on the stage from the third floor of the theater, you have to wait a long line to get into the building.

“It is a dream stage not only for conductors and singers but also for directors," said Alexander Pereira, artistic director of La Scala. "As many as 800 staffers work here and around 300 operas or ballets are performed here per year.”

The last performance of Don Giovanni, which has been on the stage at La Scala for a month, was held on Tuesday (local time). It was Robert Carsen’s Don Giovanni, which returned to La Scala in six years. The day’s performance was fully booked even a month ago as a 50 percent discount was offered.

Paavo Järvi, Estonian chief conductor of NHK Symphony Orchestra, debuted in the opera at La Scala. Thomas Hampson, a famous American baritone, who had his first concert in Korea last year, also debuted at the historic opera house.

When Don Giovanni, a womanizer in the opera, pulled down the 12-meter high curtain on the stage, audiences felt a visual excitement. A fluttering mirror that filled the stage, the curtain of the theater and a stage set with different-size prints blurred the line between the stage and audiences’ space. Some actors sang or performed among the audiences and other actors emerged in the balcony, which also made audiences as part of actors on the stage.

The combination of multinational singers presented quite a nice visual and auditory pleasures and Hampson’s persuasive performance and songs that fit the womanizer role left a strong impression.

Dong-Wook Kim creating@donga.com