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U of M Opera Presents Mozart's Don Giovanni April 21-22
For release: April 6, 2006
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In its final production of the season, the University of Memphis Opera will present Mozart’s Don Giovanni on April 21 and 22 at 7:30 PM in Harris Concert Hall. For many music lovers it is considered simply the greatest opera ever written. This story of an unrepentant womanizer and three women he tries to seduce is menacingly dark, yet simultaneously sparkles with wit.

In a rare U.S. engagement, Giovanna Maresta, assistant director at La Scala in Milan, Italy will direct the production. U of M opera conductor Mark Ensley extended the invitation to Maresta. Between 2000 and 2005, the two worked together on five operas including productions in Tel Aviv, Israel, and Casalmaggiore, Italy. "Giovanna only had three weeks open this year and, amazingly, they were the three we requested," said Ensley. "She is so very talented, and I really enjoy working with her. It is going to be a remarkable learning opportunity for everyone at the School."

The cast features Daniel Brown as the Don, Sean Cooper as Leporello, Holly Bolton and Lenena Brenza double-cast as Donna Anna, Natalie Berguron as Donna Elvira and Cailin Givens as Zerlina.

After studies at the University of Milan and the Paolo Grassi School, Maresta began her career working as assistant stage director with Lamberto Puggelli at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan. Since 1988, she has staged 22 productions at the famed opera house. In addition, she has worked in venues throughout Italy, Europe and Japan.

Along with Covent Garden in London and the Metropolitan Opera in New York, La Scala is considered one of the great opera houses of the world. Built in 1778, it was renovated in 2002-2004. The theatre saw the premiers of Verdi's Otello and Falstaff and Puccini's Madame Butterfly and Turandot. Notable musicians who have been associated with La Scala include conductor Arturo Toscanini, tenor Luciano Pavarotti, and Memphis' own Kallen Esperian.

For tickets and information, please call 901/678.5400 or visit music.memphis.edu.

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Last updated: 03/18/2008 16:28:18
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