Well it had to happen I suppose, Mozart's Don Giovanni is turning gay; well at least in a new production (version?) of the opera to be presented in Heaven, the nightclub under Charing Cross Station. Dominic Gray is directing and Ranjit Bolt producing a new translation.
But, I'm hearing you ask, how do you make Mozart's Don gay? There have, in fact, been productions where the relationship between Don Giovanni and Leporello has been either homo-social, homo-erotic or down-right intimate; with various degrees of success. I seem to remember one production where the Don seemed to spend rather too much time an a dress. Please!
For this new production, all the characters bar Don Giovanni himself are swapping sex. So that Donna Anna, Donna Elvria and Zerlina become men whilst Leporello and Masetto become women. It makes dramatic sense. And there is a reassuring bit on the website, here, where David Crichton says that they have kept closely to the class-based delineation of the lovers. This is important, Mozart and Da Ponte's opera is about class as much as sex and modern day productions just don't work properly if they ignore the class element.
In this new version the Don becomes a nightclub owner, with Leporello turning into his female PA. Alan (Donna Anna) is from a wealthy, privileged background, Eddie (Donna Elvira) is middle class and Zac (Zerlina) a young working class lad. Also, rather creditably, they are using young singers with operatic/stage backgrounds for the main roles.
From the web-site, which is stylishly but rather annoyingly designed, I am unclear what the accompaniment is going to be. Also, given Heaven's dreadful acoustics, I don't know whether they are going to be using microphones or not. But all in all it sounds a fascinating proposition.
The show is at Heaven starting 15th April 2012. Further details here.