‘A bad lad’

Opera calls for 200 naked women to deliver Mozart’s misogynist anti-hero to hell

Volunteers pose naked inside the Stadschouwburg theatre during a photo session with U.S. photographer Spencer Tunick in Bruges, May 7, 2005. (REUTERS/Peter Maenhoudt)

An Australian opera company has put out a call for 200 women to appear naked in a finale that promises to bring Don Giovanni screaming into the #MeToo era.

Mozart’s seductive, destructive sociopath with get his comeuppance through a refreshingly contemporary lens, under the direction of Lindy Hume.

“As a female director and as a feminist and someone who loves Giovanni and the story, I wanted to frame it in a way that the women are on an even playing field and give him what for at the end,” she told Australia’s ABC.

“He’s the anti-hero racing through Europe bedding as many women as he can.

“He’s a bad lad, and this is an era of #MeToo and you can’t look at a work like Don Giovanni without that prism.”

The last, extraordinary scene of the opera has always seen Giovanni descending to hell for all his evil deeds, but in Hume’s reworking for Opera Queensland, the final word is given to all the women that he seduced. Hume says the inclusion of nudity in other artists’ work around the world, including photographer Spencer Tunick, inspired her to propose the idea.

“We want as many women as we can who are up for the adventure of tearing down to hell one of the great misogynistic womanizers in history, Don Juan,” said Hume, adding that “it’s up to the women how much they want to remove.”

Read the full story at the ABC.

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