HeadFirst Productions are taking Mozart’s Don Giovanni – a traditionally male-oriented opera about an infamous womaniser – and giving it a feminine twist. The female-led production opens on 26 October at the Pleasance Theatre in London.
By putting female voices at the centre of the story, the creative team hope to test the audience’s preconceptions around lust and longing. Meanwhile the opera’s themes around human nature, contradictions and fears remain to the fore.
Commented Headfirst artistic director Sophie Gilpin: “Whilst gender equality and every day sexism debates rage in newspapers and on social media, and public figures are heard espousing nonsense about ‘locker room banter’, we have chosen to explore the fine line between seduction and sexual manipulation, and consider what’s it’s like to fall for the one person you know you shouldn’t. To be desired is – after all – desirable.”
The production is part of A Festival of Sex, Love and Death, which will see eight works staged over 10 days across cabaret, physical theatre, opera and spoken word. Other productions include The Extraordinary Cabaret of Dorian Gray, spoken word piece Submission, and theatre show Mortgage.
Don Giovanni is directed by Gilpin, conducted by Sonia Ben Santamaria and designed by Anna Bonomelli. It runs until 3 November.