Orchestre de chambre de Paris
Jac van Steen conductor
Hélène Guilmette soprano
After successful appearances at Covent Garden and Carnegie Hall, soprano Hélène Guilmette makes a halt in avenue Montaigne for a Mozart evening
J. van Steen - DR
Mozart is said to have composed the overture to his opera Don Giovanni the night before its first performance on 29 October 1787. Exhausted by finishing and copying out the orchestral scores, he was apparently kept awake part of the night by his wife. Yet even so, he had neither the time nor the desire to do a rough draft: the manuscript is perfectly clean, with no corrections! Before Don Giovanni, no opera had dealt so convincingly with the human condition. These are the timeless themes we find again, a century and a half later, in Stravinsky's opera, The Rake’s Progress. This is no pastiche of an Italian, Mozartian opera, but an exaltation of universal theatre: the hero's pact with the devil, the temptation of easy money, and blindness to fate.