Photo Coverage and Interview: John Malkovich Takes on Casanova in THE GIACOMO VARIATIONS

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Film star and character actor extraordinaire John Malkovich landed in Toronto yesterday to take on the Italian adventurer Giacomo Casanova in a new opera-theatre presentation The Giacomo Variations. It's only in Toronto for this weekend, so if you want to see Mr. Malkovich display his vocal chops make sure to get down to the Elgin Theatre.

Malkovich is well known for playing quirky characters on the silver string in roles such as Being John Malkovich, Burn After Reading and Dangerous Liasons. His first foray into the world of opera was in 2008 with The Infernal Comedy, and now he's back with a 45 piece orchestra and a cast of opera singers.

BWW sat down to chat with Malkovich and the creative team about The Giacomo Variations, Casanova and what Malkovich brings to the role:

What is so intriguing about Casanova?

Martin Haselbock: He was accepted and dismissed at the ports all over the known world at that time. He met with philosophers and kings. As you might know, in many ways he was experiencing the world of his time and he was searching and fond of learning things he didn't know before. I think he was an adventurer in a way in that he had a living human mind. Maybe that is the connection between him and Mozart - they both had to invent themselves and find ways to access nobility.

John - what do you bring to the character that we wouldn't have known?

John Malkovich: I think Casanova is a person who did a lot of things and had a lot of facets to his character. He was studying to be a priest, a soldier and a spy. He was an alchemist, a mathematician and a writer who was principally known as a connoseiur of women. I think the first person to ever read his works described him as someone who was 'an expert on everything except for the things he was supposed to be an expert of'. That in and of itself is incredibly interesting, and I maintain that one of those things was probably women.

This is the part allotted to me in this story. In a way we're like musicians, we play music and if we're not at the right tempo or we don't have the right stress or we're not seeming through the end of the phrase there are ways to ameliorate that but as Casanova says at the end of the piece - 'when I was very young I had a fever and the room was in darkness and the darkness was lying over everything like a veil expanding and leaving less and less space. My grandmother was reading me a story and when I looked up she had no book. And I thought I would like to tell stories the way she did. ' And that is what I try and do with the character - tell the story.

When and Where?

The Giacomo Variations

The Elgin Theatre

June 7th - 9th 2013

For more information or to purchase tickets please visit the website here:

All photos by Racheal McCaig Photography

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