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Known as 'the designer's graveyard' this opera requires a setting with plenty of hiding places and entrances/exits. Mozart's original setting is very loose - various public plazas and stately rooms - and we wanted to create a location that emphasised how all the characters are somehow trapped, whether in their addiction, in their relationships, their servitude, and so on. A vintage train seemed the perfect solution; it retains the class divide, the various compartments are ideal for hiding, and once it has left the platform, no-one can leave! A dining car was the setting for the party that ends Act One (Don Giovanni was also able to make a comic escape by climbing along the outside of the carriage!) and the graveyard scene was relocated to the baggage compartment. The abstract set was decorated by students of Rye Studio School, as part of an outreach project, which also included costume design and manufacture; the back wall was painted with a blurred, 'rushing' effect and the windows were lit with a sequence of flashing lights to convey the sense of motion. The theatre had no flies, so scene changes had to be done manually by extras (train staff!).
Design, stage and music direction by Alisdair Kitchen.
Cast: Nicholas Morton, Jerome Knox, Gemma Lois Summerfield, Rannveig Káradóttir, Peter Aisher, Edward Jowle, Turiya Haudenhuyse, Simon Grange. Jonathan Musgrave, repetiteur.
Photography: Rye Studio School and KT Bruce
"It was such a joy, and easily a match for anything seen on much grander stages. The superb professional young cast and orchestra assembled by Alisdair Kitchen the director and conductor, and the driving force behind Euphonia Studio, would grace any auditorium." - Rye News