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Sunday, July 21, 2013

A New Life for ‘Don Giovanni’

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The East Side Chamber Players, Milwaukee’s hot new chamber music ensemble, will present a 90-minute adaptation of Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni. The production features an original English translation and an intimate seven-instrument ensemble orchestration.

ESCP’s Motoaki Kashino and Paul Thompson completed the adaptation along with Daniel Brylow (who will direct the production) and Tim Rebers (who will sing the title role). With this fresh English libretto, the translators have set their sights on making the opera more accessible. “The new translation will really help to pull the audience into the story,” says Rebers. “It’s a unique experience to be writing a translation which you will be singing,” he continues, “you can fashion things to suit your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as your personal artistic tastes.”

Mozart’s opera, premiered in Prague in 1787, is perhaps the most famous setting for the story of Don Juan, an amoral womanizer who takes pride in seducing women and pays no heed to the consequences of his actions, even tempting fate by inviting a man he has killed to dinner. Since the legend’s first appearance in the 17th century, Don Juan has inspired all kinds of artists, ranging from Molière to Albert Camus, and beyond.

Founded in 2011, East Side Chamber Players is an educational organization dedicated to the furtherance of art and culture through public performance of chamber music. In addition to a multi-concert season, ESCP also does community outreach coaching and mentoring with Milwaukee-area students.

Performances take place at Pius XI High School’s Black Box Theatre (135 N. 76th St.) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 26, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 28. Admission is free. Donations in support of the East Side Chamber Players will be accepted at each performance.

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