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Review: DON JUAN at Wroclaw Opera

Licentiousness can be glamour.

By: Mar. 09, 2022
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Review: DON JUAN at Wroclaw Opera  Image

A romantic burlesque turns out to be an abstract path to nothingness through perverse vanity. Must see.

Let me start by saying: it's amazing.

Latex, satin and velvet seen at the opera like never before. Licentiousness can be glamour.

Dark atmosphere, great sense of humor, movements close to perfection. There are a lot of words in my head and yet, at the end of the day none of them describe what is happening on stage.

The music by Christoph Willibald von Gluck, the set design (Cordelia Matthes) and the costumes (Bruno Schwengl) form a perfect setting and olunge us unexpectedly into a world out of this world. Well begun is half done. Blurred pastels with touch of black are like French macaroons at the court of Marie Antoinette. Almost too sweet and perfectly broken up by the end. As the action unfolds, we have more and more of passion, duels, nudity and desire. I would not focus on what is happening because the action for me becomes completely unnecessary and it genuinely does not bother me. The images are so gracious that the audience actually doesn't want the action to move forward because it heralds the end of the show.

For me, the best parts of the show are duets and surprisingly not between Don Juan and his lovers (who are great by the way, everyone in a specific way). Firstly: the Devil itself played fascinatingly by Andrzej Malinowski and his shadow: the Music visualized by the velvet Anna Czermak. Her sounds and his appearance bring something more than wickedness, it's indecent evil attractiveness. There is something disturbing about the fact that we admire it. But it is so and it cannot be otherwise. His brazen elegance is very filthy and violin notes are his words. It will talk you through and leave you speechless.

Secondly: Don Juan (Lukasz Ozga) and Zanni (Kei Otsuka), his own Sancho Panza. The first one needs no introduction, we all know him and we all love him but the second one... it's something new. He's fresh, he's dynamic as hell, so expressive that it's seen once in a blue moon. Even looking at him energizes you. He definitely went the extra mile with his interpretation, especially when compared to his cold and calculated Master.

My very favorite part was the dancing, of course. And it's not a classic ballet. It's more modern, it's brave, it's a surprise. Elegant movements, as if stretched out to infinity, great synchronization, bold elements. It's dark, it's fresh, I was on cloud nine. The group choreographies are light and kind of grotesque erotic gambol... till the moment of culmination. The time when the mysterious lava coming out of the devil starts his bizarre dance is the icing on the cake. It's odd, intrusive, beautiful in its perversity.

The director and choreographer Giorgio Madia created a bold, uncompromising and surprising performance that still has a lot of undiscovered details. It is a story of a desire, of a fight with demons, because for me it is a story of an attraction not so much to women but to the devil inside a human.

Photo: T. Golla


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