(Micaela Baranello’s article appeared in The New York Times, 7/16; via Pam GReen.)
At the beginning of “Don Giovanni,” a masked man breaks into a woman’s room in the middle of the night. Later in the opera, the woman — Donna Anna — describes the encounter to her fiancé as an attempted rape. Do we believe her? While we can sift through Mozart’s harmonies for proof, we always return to Anna’s words: The man “wanted to embrace me. As I tried to free myself, he held me even tighter.”
But many modern productions make her a liar, depicting the character as a willing participant in a late-night tryst. For many women in the audience, directors’ skepticism of Anna’s account is something all too familiar. Within the opera, her fiancé, Don Ottavio, believes her, but today the victim is doubted with telling frequency.
Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http 2015:// www.stagevoices.com/ . If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com.