Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
Directed by Louisa Proske
Music Directed by Jacob Ashworth
New Arrangement by Daniel Schlosberg
While Don Giovanni dances at the edge of a precipice, three extraordinary women pursue him, each seeking their own reckoning, pleasure, and liberation. Is the great seducer destroying or empowering the women he encounters? What story does the sublime music tell? This visceral new production wrestles with Mozart’s elusive masterpiece in our present cultural moment.
Zerlina // Samarie Alicea
Leporello // Matthew Gamble
Don Ottavio // Keith Browning
Donna Elvira // Felicia Moore
Donna Anna // Leela Subramaniam
Don Giovanni // John Taylor Ward
Masetto/Commendatore // Barrington Lee
Also featuring Zina Ellis (Gianotta, Bridesmaid and others) and Parker Drown (Best Man, Party Dude and others)
Stage Direction // Louisa Proske
Music Direction // Jacob Ashworth
New Arrangement // Daniel Schlosberg
Musical Staging and Choreography // Chloe Treat
Fight Direction // Rick Sordelet
Set Design // Kate Noll
Costume Design // Beth Goldenberg
Lighting Design // Oliver Wason
press from Last year's festival
"This small, adventurous company strives to make opera a visceral, intimate and immediate 'encounter,' as they have said. Their alterations to masterpieces aim to get past dated elements that can mute the raw emotions and the timeless issues coursing within the original works."
– Anthony Tommasini, ‘Butterfly’ and ‘Carmen,’ in Bold and Vivid Cuts (The New York Times
Carmen was "gripping as music theater ... Louisa Proske set out to examine and challenge the all-too-timely oppositions structured around borders of all types. ... an anti-touristic Carmen."
– Opera News, In Review: Madama Butterfly (5/20/17), Carmen (5/25/17)
"[W]hat’s so pleasing about Heartbeat Opera’s “Butterfly” is how well its artistic intentions dovetail with its limited means."
– Russell Platt, The Trailblazing Efforts of “Indie Opera” (The New Yorker)
experience the spring Festival
DON GIOVANNI // May 2–12, 2018
While Don Giovanni dances at the edge of a precipice, three extraordinary women pursue him, each seeking their own reckoning, pleasure, and liberation. This visceral new production wrestles with Mozart’s elusive masterpiece in our present cultural moment.
Learn More ›
FIDELIO // May 3-13, 2018
Featuring the voices of imprisoned people, this daring adaptation of Beethoven's opera pits corruption against courage, hate against hope.
Learn more ›
GALA: DOUBLE BILL // May 6, 2018
Don't miss this unique opportunity to see two monumental works on the same day. Experience DON GIOVANNI and FIDELIO, and enjoy an exclusive dinner with the Heartbeat Opera family between performances.
Learn More ›
Meet the Team
Louisa Proske directs opera, classical theatre, and new plays with equal passion and is the proud Founding Co-Artistic Director of Heartbeat Opera. Productions in opera include Agrippina (Lincoln Center debut), Così fan tutte (LoftOpera), Lucia di Lammermoor, Daphnis & Chloé (Heartbeat Opera), Falstaff (Dell’Arte Opera), Gianni Schicchi, Riders to the Sea, La Voix Humaine (Yale Opera); Invisible Cities (world premiere, Italian Academy New York). Theatre includes peerless (nominated for a Berkshire Theatre Award for Outstanding Direction) and Engagements (Barrington Stage Company), One Day When We Were Young (Assembly, Edinburgh), ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore (The Tank), Cymbeline and As You Like It (Yale Drama), and Macbeth (European tour). Louisa has assisted such prominent opera directors as Willy Decker, Harry Kupfer and Robert Woodruff. Louisa is an alumna of the Drama League Director’s Project. She holds an MFA in Directing from Yale School of Drama, and she is on faculty at Maggie Flanigan Studio teaching Shakespeare Acting and Script Analysis. www.louisaproske.com
Opera News called violinist Jacob Ashworth's 2015 performance of Kurtag’s Kafka-Fragments “a flat-out triumph for its two fearless performers.” At home across the spectrum of classical music, Jacob has gained a reputation as a consummate stylist, from his “diligent attention to [baroque] period style” (NY Times) to his “exacting and sensitive” interpretations of modern works (Boston Globe). Ashworth is violinist, conductor, and Artistic Director of Cantata Profana, which he founded at Yale School of Music in 2012, and Co-Music Director of Heartbeat Opera. For Heartbeat’s 2016 production of Dido and Aeneas, the New Yorker noted, “Ashworth, leading from the violin, elicited a performance that was elegant, boisterous, and melancholy by turns.”
Puerto Rican soprano Samarie Alicea praised by The New York Times for her “bright-voiced and endearing soprano” made her New York City Opera role debut as Aire in Literes’ Spanish Baroque opera Los Elementos. Most recently, Samarie sang as Clorinda in La cenerentola with NYCO’s Park Series at Bryant Park. She has also been seen Off-Broadway in the role of Susana in Figaro 90210!, Samarie performed as Susanna in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro with Long Island Opera and as Servilia in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito with dell´Arte Opera Ensemble. Samarie was a first prize winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions in Puerto Rico. www.samariealicea.com
Baritone Matthew Gamble is firmly establishing himself as an artist of versatility. Operatic roles include Count Almaviva LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Papageno DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, title-role DON GIOVANNI, Sharpless and Yamadori MADAMA BUTTERFLY, Marco and Betto GIANNI SCHICCHI, Sacristan TOSCA, Luther/Schlemil LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN, Don Alfonso COSI FAN TUTTE, Escamillo CARMEN, Undertaker PORGY AND BESS, and King Melchior AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS. Highlights include Private Augenti in Sondheim's PASSION with the Théâtre du Châtelet and the world premieres of A Letter to my Nephew/Lance and Analogy/Lance aka Pretty the Escape Artist with the Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.
Tenor Keith Browning has been lauded for his “well-trained and versatile voice” for his portrayal of Nathan in Georgia Bottoms: A Comic Opera of the Modern South where he made his international debut this Fall in Budapest, Hungary. He has performed various contemporary operas including Sweets by Kate by Griffin Candey which was performed at the historic Stonewall Inn. This Spring, he made his debut with American Opera Projects and NYU's Graduate Music Theatre Writing Program in two half hour one-act operas. Recent appearances include the orchestral premiere of Evan Mack's Roscoe with the Albany Symphony Orchestra featuring Deborah Voigt and the World Premiere performance of Gregory Vajda's Georgia Bottoms: A Comic Opera of the Modern South with the Hunstville Symphony Orchestra in Huntsville, Alabama in 2014. He performed in works by Wang Ji, Randall Eng, and Michelle DiBucci for Opera America's New Works Showcase in January 2017 at the celebrated Town Hall Theatre in Times Square. 2015 appearances include the Young Artist Program at Opera Company of Middlebury where he participated in their production of Turandot. He has also appeared in various operas with Ash Lawn Opera, the Oratorio Society of Charlottesville, Seagle Music Colony, and Brevard Music Center including Il barbiere di Siviglia, Candide, La Boheme, and Albert Herring. Mr. Browning received his training at Stetson University in DeLand, FL and University of Maryland, College Park.
Soprano Felicia Moore is an ADOS candidate at The Juilliard School, where she will be performing at Songfest in Alice Tully Hall with Brian Zeger and Beethoven’s “Ah! perfido” with Speranza Scappucci and The Juilliard Orchestra. As a Merola alum, she will be returning to San Francisco to make her Schwabacher Debut Recital in March 2018. Last season at Juilliard she performed as the title role in Janáček's Katya Kabanova. Ms. Moore recently won The Sullivan Foundation Award. Previous awards include being a two-time Met Competition Semi-Finalist, as well as winning the top prize at The George London Foundation Competition.
Praised by Opera News as a “gleaming, pitch perfect soprano” and the Wall Street Journal as “piercingly lovely,” soprano Leela Subramaniam is turning heads with her rapid ascent to opera stardom. After winning the prestigious Opera Foundation Björn Eklund Scholarship, Ms. Subramaniam was invited to join the Bavarian State Opera Studio in Munich for the 2015/16 season, where she appeared as Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring, Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro, Papagena in The Magic Flute, the Dew Fairy in Hänsel and Gretel, and Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto. Last season she made her debut with the Gärtnerplatz Theater in Munich in Purcell’s King Arthur and her LA Opera debut as Annu in Kamala Sankaram’s Thumbprint. For the 2017/18 season she joins the Metropolitan Opera to cover Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Flower Maiden I in Parsifal, and Kate Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly.
Previous credits include the title roles of Thaïs and Lucia di Lammermoor at the Manhattan School of Music, where she earned her Masters, and Nero in Handel's Agrippina at UCLA, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree.
JOHN Taylor Ward
John Taylor Ward’s performances have been praised for their “Stylish abandon” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker) and their “finely calibrated precision and heart-rending expressivity” (Washington Post). He is a frequent collaborator with Paul O’Dette, Stephen Stubbs, and the Boston Early Music Festival; William Christie and Les arts florissants; Sir John Elliott Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists; the Grammy award-winning ensemble, Roomful of Teeth. Other credits include the U.S. premiere of Claude Vivier’s Kopernikus under the direction of Peter Sellars as well as appearances at the Salzburg and Berlin Festspieles, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Edinburgh International Festival. Ward is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and holds three advanced degrees from the Yale school of Music. He is a founding core member of Cantata Profana and is the founding associate artistic director of the Lakes Area Music Festival.
Barrington Lee is enjoying success on both operatic/concert stages worldwide. In 2012 he made his international operatic debut at Deutsche Oper Berlin in Prokofiev’s L’amour des trois oranges and was featured in concerts at Teatro Sodre, Uruguay and Mozarteum Argentino Festival. His recent engagements include Amonasro, Aida, Lyric Artists of New York; Morelos & Jackson, La Flamenca, OperaCréole; Sam, Blue Monday, L’Orchestre de Chambre de Genève. The 2017-18 season will feature Amonasro, Aida, The International Verdi Society; Bass Soloist, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, New Haven Symphony Orchestra; and Masetto/Commendatore, Don Giovanni, Heartbeat Opera. Please visit www.BarringtonLee.com for full biography/engagements.
Zina Ellis is an actor and singer from Illinois, now based in Brooklyn, and is thrilled to be working with Heartbeat Opera, albeit silently. She does, however, have a voice, which she has used to perform with a variety of straight and musical theatre groups in New York City. She most recently appeared as Phoebe Meryll in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Yeomen of the Guard and has also sung in venues around the US and the world with multiple vocal ensembles. Love to my family and friends. BA Yale
Parker Drown is an overly enthusiastic Opera neophyte and beyond thrilled to be joining the incredibly talented cast of Don Giovanni.
NY Theatre: Buyer and Cellar (Penguin Rep), The Lightning Thief (Lucille Lortel), The Good Swimmer (Here Arts Center), Cabaret (The Secret Theatre); Regional Theatre: Kid Victory, Hairspray (Signature Theatre), A Chorus Line, Spring Awakening (Olney Theatre Center), Speech and Debate (Rep Stage), Rent (Keegan Theatre, Helen Hayes Award). Thank you to Louisa, Dan, and the entire Heartbeat Opera family. And a special shoutout to Chloe Treat for not only her continued artistic inspiration, but also her sweet generosity of employment.