First performed in Prague in 1787, Mozart's Don Giovanni (Italian for Don Juan) is the story of a notorious womanizer who destroys marriages, uses and dumps the women he gets to go to bed with him and kills the father of a woman he is trying to seduce. This being an opera of its time, Mozart and librettist Lorenzo da Ponte get away with discussing all this by having Don Giovanni receive his due reward by the end in majestic operatic fashion (a statue that comes alive, no less!).
Baritone Adrian Erod of Austria, who is making both his U.S. and role debuts with this production by the Houston Grand Opera, sings the lead role. He says that even though he gets dragged down to the bowels of hell at the end, it's a fun role. And, he points out quickly, ''The Commendatore is not a good guy either.'' The second of three operas (The Marriage of Figaro and Cosi Fan Tutte bookend Don Giovanni), this work is far from the first or last to deal with the legendary lecher who thinks of no one but himself. ''Giovanni is more than a character. He's like a symbol. Everyone who comes and sees the opera has another picture already of what Don Giovanni means to him,'' says Erod, who has been performing mostly in Europe and Japan while doing a lot of Mozart, Rossini and Britten.
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7:30 p.m. January 25 and February 2, 5 and 8; 2 p.m. January 27 and February 10.
Fri., Jan. 25; Sun., Jan. 27; Sat., Feb. 2; Tue., Feb. 5; Fri., Feb. 8; Sun., Feb. 10, 2013