Don Giovanni

Mozart’s Don Giovanni has a typical start for an opera: a big fat death scene. It’s the middle of the night and Don Giovanni, having just taken advantage of a young woman, Donna Anna, gets into a sword fight with her father. A complete cad, Giovanni kills the man, leaving a now twice-traumatized Anna to mourn both her father and lost virtue. Cassandra Black shares the role of Anna with Michelle Johnson. Black, making her debut as Anna here, tells us she enjoys the rather tragic role. “[Anna] gets to sing some really difficult things,” she says. “Donna Anna is one of the many, many, many victims of Don Giovanni’s womanizing. She starts the show pretty down in the dumps. She’s been taken advantage of and Giovanni has murdered her father. Her first aria is a vengeance aria trying to get her fiancé to go after Don Giovanni. Her second aria is trying to get her fiancé to not leave her; she’s pretty much mistreated him throughout the show.”

Black says that despite its dark tone, the opera includes a bit of humor. “There are some serious moments and some light moments. Of course, when Giovanni’s seducing a woman, it’s not going to be all fire and brimstone. The music takes multiple turns; it’s really quite varied. I think it’s one of Mozart’s best pieces.”

7:30 p.m. January 31, February 1, 6, 7 and 8, 2 p.m. February 2 and 9. Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Boulevard. For information, call 713-861-5303 or visit operaintheheights.org. $32 to $59.
Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Feb. 6-8, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Jan. 31. Continues through Feb. 9, 2014

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Olivia Flores Alvarez