White Snake Projects Presents the World Premiere of ‘Domme & Giovanni’

By Afton Wooten

Ryan Oldham’s “Dome & Giovanni” makes its world premiere in White Snake Projects’ second annual “Opera Through the Looking Glass” series.

“Domme & Giovanni” is a contemporary retelling of Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni.” Liz Abram-Oldham and Cerise Lim Jacobs teamed together as co-librettists to write a modern adaptation that centers on the strengths of the female roles by flipping the narrative and retelling the story from the female perspective.

Soprano Carami Hilaire takes on the lead role of Anna, with bass-baritone Andrew Simpson as Don Giovanni. Elvira is sung by mezzo-soprano Pascale Spinney and Leporello by baritone Kyle Oliver. They are joined by David McGrory at the piano, along with a jazz/rock band, under the musical direction of Tianhui Ng. Stefanos Koroneos serves as stage director.

White Snake Projects’ artistic director Jacobs said in a press release, “The opera canon is very limited and the stories are not great for women. Most operas are written in an earlier historical period with a different gender reality unacceptable to us now. Don Giovanni (as well as many other famous operas) has historically been romanticized by heroizing the leading character as a rugged man and marginalizing the women characters. With Domme & Giovanni we interrogate the original story and reimagine this old opera full of sexism and misogyny from a modern-day point of view. We hope this new opera provides some good starting points for reflection on our culture.”

The premiere takes place in back-to-back dinner-performances May 5-6, at the intimate La Voile restaurant in Brookline, MA.