Love everlasting .... for 6 nights only
At London’s legendary Heaven Night Club
6 performances in April - Sunday 15th, 22nd, 29th, and Monday 16th, 23rd, 30th
.... with our fabulous Gala Celebrity Night on Monday 16th April, 7pm
BOOK NOW! Early bookings, lower prices...
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This week we bring you a jam-packed Easter newsletter with interviews from our cast and crew (some wonderful Stories from Behind-the-Scenes to share with you), news on our Patrons , the latest photos from our rehearsals, and of course our weekly Quiz. Enjoy!
Stories from Behind-the-Scenes
It’s been a lovely sunny few days in London, and we’ve been all-go with rehearsals. The cast is looking and sounding fantastic, and we are all very excited for the shows, starting next Sunday!
We are very excited to welcome Paul Gambaccini on board as Patron! We’re very glad to have Paul supporting the production, and hope to see him on the Gala Night!
This week our Don, Duncan Rock, has been down at Gaydar Radio together with our Producer, Richard Crichton. What a fantastic interview, we love it, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy it too ;) Check the video out here....
Team Don’s Helen Bee also caught up with Ranjit Bolt this week. An acclaimed playwright and translator, he has worked as our Translator and Arranger since 2009 for our first performance for Pride London’s stage show that year. Now having completed the full production, we got to find out more on his work adapting Da Ponte’s original libretto, and an insight into the appeal of Mozart’s classic debaucherous tale, and our modern Don...
Read on for highlights of our interview with Ranjit.
How did you go about bringing the 18th century libretto for Don Giovanni into the 1980s?
... This is Mozart set in the 80s – so I was starting from the point of being free, of having a free hand, which is a slightly different kind of adapting. You’re always trying to find parallels to fit the world you’ve been asked to set it in. In the original, Leporello, he’s a servant. Well in ours, she’s a PA – as Leo (Leonora). So it’s those kind of parallels for the 18th century – details that are analogous to the original, but that have a 1980s slant to them.....
Has bringing Mozart’s classic script to life in a contemporary setting, changed your view on the age-old story of The Don?
Well I think in the 80s, gay life in those days was very free. You could have a very good time, and if you were part of that scene, there was sex pretty much on tap. I think that kind of sexual freedom is a very good parallel for the way in which Don Giovanni operates in the original, which is as a rampantly heterosexual seducer. There’s a kind of rampantness in the sexual scene of the 80s, the club scene, which I think makes the Don, our gay hero, a rather good descendant of the original Don.
- So it’s interesting how you can bring it into every age – it’s a timeless story
You’ve obviously got a timeless theme, so he’s an iconic figure, a lasting legend, and he lends himself to all kinds of interpretations and versions. He could be a modern straight guy on the pull all the time, he could be whatever you like. You could keep him as he was before, as a cavalier figure. You could have him as a straight guy seducing his secretaries and whoever he meets, or you can have him as a gay guy who’s very promiscuous. He lends himself, he’s very flexible, he can take on any guise, and it will give it a new twist.
How do you think this modern take on Mozart’s classic will appeal to today’s audience?
Well it’s quite time-specific – it’s set in the 80s, so there’s a bit of social history. I think it will interest people for two reasons. A – you can see this opera in any time frame and it’s still immortal, it’s still universal. B – I think it will have a kind of a retro appeal – because in recent decades there’s been a great tendency for recent times to become fashionable again, and I think there is quite a lot of interest at the moment in the 80s, in the Thatcher era, in the ‘never had it so good’, ‘loads o’ money’ kind of world, which of course is The Don’s world as well. Not only do you have the sexual liberation, but you also have the material luxury that a lot of people had then.....
- Yes, and he’s a nightclub owner, so he’s wealthy too...
He’s a successful nightclub owner, he’s got his wad of cash, you know – he can flash his wad, in both senses! - financially and sexually.
From what we’ve heard of the new script, there’s some very entertaining lines and references! What is your personal favourite scene, line or character in the show, and why?
.... My favourite thing I’ve done in this project is the ‘Sextet’ which comes just before the finale, which is where Don has to get his comeuppance – because I’ve put in some 80s touches which I think work well....
That and one or two numbers, like the famous ‘List Song’ – where Leonora (Leporello) tells Eddie (Donna Elvira) what a promiscuous man Don Giovanni is – which comes near the beginning. Again, I’ve chosen some pretty good details there I think, which correspond to what Leporello sings, but which fit the 80s very well. I’m hoping it’ll get a laugh or two.
So, the last question is... - Describe the show in 3 words for us!
Hope people come!
Thankyou very much Ranjit, it’s been great talking with you, and we look forward to seeing you at the Gala night!
Rehearsals are in full swing, and it’s been great to see the cast in action - we can’t wait for dress rehearsals and the final shows! Here are a few photos we captured this week.....
Each week we give you the chance to win a pair of tickets for our Gala Celebrity Night and a bottle of Champagne! Well done to Steven, last week’s winner. Read on for this week’s question from The Don....
Mozart's original manuscript of Don Giovanni can today be found in:
a. British Library, London
b. Wiener Stadtbibliothek, Vienna State Library
c. Biblioteque National de France, Paris
For your chance to win a pair of tickets to our Gala Night, plus a bottle of bubbly, send the correct answer to:
The closing date is midnight on Monday 9th April, and winners will be notified by email the next day (Tuesday). UK contestants only.
Remember, shows start from next Sunday! There’s a few tickets remaining for our Gala Celebrity Night on Monday 16th April, so if you haven’t purchased already, get your orders in quick!
.... and do join us on Facebook and Twitter where you can follow our updates, and post comments & questions! We’d love to hear from you.
Have a fabulous Easter.
Team Don xx
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23 Dec, 2011
- In the Summer of 2009 we performed the final scene of Act 1 to critical acclaim on the main stage at Trafalgar Square for Pride. Ranjit Bolt translated the libretto, Roland Lee handled the arrangements (and Vince Clarke of pop legends Erasure adapted the ballroom scene minuet as a fantastic club tune.)
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