Would Mozart have liked our Giovanni? (and other unanswered questions)



© Portland Opera/Cory Weaver



Last week, I wrote about the impassioned discussion that went on over at our Join the Conversation page for Don Giovanni, and what questions it raised for me about the consumption of art. To read part one, click here.


There's something fundamental I'd like to address that came up as feedback to last week's post: We definitely want you to like all of our productions! In no way was I trying to suggest that some of our shows are meant to be cerebral and academic. We want you to enjoy yourselves! We very much want you to be moved. What I wrote about was, maybe, more about what to do if you find yourself face to face with something far different than what you expected. An exercise in finding the alternative good, if that makes sense.


Because, on a very general level, it seems like one of the biggest problems that those who did not like this Giovanni had was that they came in expecting what you might call a 'classical' production and faced our relatively stark, 'modern' one instead. Obviously that is a jarring and potentially disappointing experience. I've found myself again wrapped up in conversation about this in the hallways at work. Should we have 'warned' our audiences more effectively? What would such a warning even look like?


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