This evening, many of our number were able to see Don Giovanni in the theater when it premiered! For some, it was a planned excursion, with tickets purchased online before we left home, but several others ventured to the box office yesterday to inquire about available seats—and were rewarded with a student discount for our efforts!
The theater itself is right at the old town square, very close to Our Lady Before Tyn, the church where we sang this afternoon. It’s very lovely—tastefully appointed in a light blue with gold accents. Many of the boxes and the Gallerie—or nosebleeds—are arranged in such a tight horseshoe shape that the easiest activity is audience-watching, not opera-watching. To see the stage from anywhere but the center of the house, you have to lean forward (the railings were upholstered for this purpose) and crane your neck quite a bit. However, since attending an opera during Mozart’s time also served as an opportunity to see and be seen, we had a good time spotting our friends seated around the house—during intermission, of course!
The staging was a stark, minimalist, quite modern, black-and-white rendition that featured a good bit of ballet as well as a pint-sized double of the title character. The child’s presence was not clearly explained, which gave us plenty to discuss over gelato and a nighttime stroll back over the St. Charles Bridge. After a dreary day yesterday, the weather was absolutely perfect, and the city illuminated at night is just gorgeous! It was a perfect way to close our time here in Prague.
I always feel especially gratified whenever I am able to both perform live music and hear others do so in the same day, and today certainly qualified for that distinction! To have done so in a 14th-century church and an 18th century theater just made it that much more special. Fortunately for us, there’s a lot more music in our immediate future—we’re off to Salzburg tomorrow!