Opera an’ bukes: Roddy Doyle to create new version of Don Giovanni

Dublin Theatre Festival announces one of next year’s highlights as it takes a bow for 2015

“I want to ensure that the characters will seem to be singing in Dublin,” says Roddy Doyle of his new version of Don Giovanni. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

“I want to ensure that the characters will seem to be singing in Dublin,” says Roddy Doyle of his new version of Don Giovanni. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

After 18 days and 28 productions, Dublin Theatre Festival came to an end last night, but not before making one last grand announcement at its curtain call.

Next year’s festival will feature a new version of the opera Don Giovanni, in a fresh translation by Roddy Doyle. The show will be produced by Opera Theatre Company, which is celebrating its 30th year in 2016.

“It is a fascinating job, examining every line, every word – words that were written by Lorenzo Da Ponte, in Italian, in 1787, to accompany 162 minutes of music composed by a genius,” said Roddy Doyle. “I’m trying to stay faithful to the original words but I also want to ensure that the characters will seem to be singing in Dublin, today. It’s a big job - but the music fills the day.”

Don Giovanni is loaded with all the big themes of drama - love, death, regret and guilt, with murder and seductions aplenty. The production will be directed by Gavin Quinn, artistic director of Pan Pan Theatre, whose show Newcastlewest was part of this year’s Dublin Theatre Festival.

Welsh baritone David Kempster will take the title role, with Fergus Sheil conducting. “Roddy’s work is perfectly suited to the world of Don Giovanni as he has often exposed both the tragic actions of flawed characters and the ability of the human spirit to triumph over adversity,” said Sheil.

The show will be at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin for three nights (September 29th and October 1st and 2nd), before touring to Cork Opera House (October 5th and 7th).