In the Presence of Sir Richard Gozney
NARROPERA returns to the Peel Centenary Centre. Mozart’s greatest opera, Don Giovanni, follows on from previous Narropera performances of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and of Così fan tutte.
A German reviewer recently described narropera as a Tale for Grown-Ups, in which narration and music are perfectly balanced. A second German critic observed that the recent invention of narropera (narrated opera) is timely, that opera can benefit from such a treatment whereby the work of the librettist (the playwright), ie the story itself, is placed on an equal footing with the music.
The Isle of Man with its celtic, bardic tradition, with its love of things direct and straight-forward, with its love of common appeal, entertainment and poetry, should by nature be well-suited to the format, narropera, and indeed since the very invention of narropera it has been.
The German journalists have addressed the very nub of narropera, the artistic condensing of an opera into a new art form, part narration, part music, throughout entertaining yet still enlightening, lasting no more than 80 to 85 minutes.
When one normally thinks of opera, today, one thinks primarily of music, of singing and of the visual challenge of sets and costumes. It is hard to realise that a couple of centuries ago in the 1700s, albeit a generation before Mozart, composers in general were considered much less important than the great poet-librettists, the actual story-tellers of opera. Lorenzo da Ponte, the brilliant librettist of The Marriage of Figaro, of Così fan tutte and of Don Giovanni, belongs in that same top drawer of such story-tellers, witty, poetic, dramatic and virtuosic.
Narropera’s opportunity is both, to provide the seasoned opera-goer with an enjoyable and informative way of seeing the source of their operatic passion through a new prism and, to provide the opera first-timer with an inviting, friendly format through which to try out an art form which might otherwise seem to be rather too complex.
The Mozart Narropera Trio (see FB page) of Dorothee Jansen soprano, Floriane Peycelon violin, and Haydn Rawstron narrator and piano, presents Lorenzo da Ponte/Mozart’s justly famous ‘Don Giovanni’ in the Peel Centenary Centre on Saturday 23rd June. This will be the fifth narropera performance on the Isle of Man since January 2013, when Haydn and Dorothee invented the new format as a response to earthquake damage to theatres and concert halls throughout Christchurch, New Zealand. What began life as a stop-gap immediately flourished and, with the Peel Don Giovanni later this month, narropera will clock-up its 71st performance.
Don Giovanni is regarded by many opera fans as the best-ever opera written and the work’s stella-reputation owes much to its riveting story. It is perhaps therefore not coincidental that Don Giovanni was Mozart’s greatest success during his lifetime.
Narropera prioritises the virtue of clarity, striking a careful balance between narrative and musical components, such as to enable the listener to imagine the various situations and characters, as a child would, when read to at bed-time. The story provokes the music, which in turn enhances the story and, for that stimulating synthesis to occur, one needs greater exposure to the story than is usual in opera performances.
Narropera returns to PEEL, Centenary Centre Saturday, 23rd June 2018, 8pm
W. Mozart/da Ponte: ‘Don Giovanni’, as narropera
Dorothee Jansen (soprano), Floriane Peycelon (violin) Haydn Rawstron (narrator/piano)
Tickets: www.etickets.im/cc/ or Peter Norris, GH Corlett, Celtic Gold, Shakti Man, Thompson Travel or on the night @ Centenary Centre
£15 pound, free for under 18s