The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Instagram

Stunning soprano dons role of ingénue for Dallas debut

+Ailyn+Perez%2C+left%2C+playing+the+role+of+Zerlina%2C+Paulo+Szot+as+Don+Giovanni%2C+Claire+Rutter%2C+standing%2C+as+the+Queen+Alvira+and+Georgia+Jarman+as+Donna+Anna%2C+star+in+The+Dallas+Opera%E2%80%99s+production+of+%E2%80%9CDon+Giovanni%2C%E2%80%9D+premiering+Oct.+22+at+the+Winspear+Opera+House.
MICHAEL DANSER/The Daily Campus
Ailyn Perez, left, playing the role of Zerlina, Paulo Szot as Don Giovanni, Claire Rutter, standing, as the Queen Alvira and Georgia Jarman as Donna Anna, star in The Dallas Opera’s production of “Don Giovanni,” premiering Oct. 22 at the Winspear Opera House.

Ailyn Perez, left, playing the role of Zerlina, Paulo Szot as Don Giovanni, Claire Rutter, standing, as the Queen Alvira and Georgia Jarman as Donna Anna, star in The Dallas Opera’s production of “Don Giovanni,” premiering Oct. 22 at the Winspear Opera House. (MICHAEL DANSER/The Daily Campus)

Don Giovanni is one of the most infamous womanizers of entertainment history, and he is returning to the Dallas stage under the prolific direction and design of John Pascoe.

The opera is performed frequently around the world and combines elements of comedy, tragedy and the supernatural.

 The Commendatore Scene is one of the most eminent scenes in all of opera.

The title role of the Dallas Opera’s production of Mozart’s classic work will be performed by the dashingly handsome, Tony award winning, Brazilian baritone Paolo Szot, who is surrounded by a cast of equally attractive and talented female performers upon whom his character, Giovanni, preys.

The time period of this production, which originated at the Washington National Opera, is the 1940s with an underlying theme of fascism.

Soprano Ailyn Perez, who will be playing the ingénue Zerlina, said that this setting highlights the brutality of the story in a way that modern audiences can better understand.

“This opera explores the themes of the faithfulness of women, men behaving badly and what liberty means,” Perez said. “And I really think that these show up well because of the updated setting.”

Perez has performed as many of opera’s leading ladies all over the world, most recently as Violetta in the Royal Opera House’s tour of “La Traviata” in Toyko.

In Dallas, Perez will be playing a more innocent character than usual.

“[Zerlina] is fun to play,” Perez said. “The roles I sing tend to be die-hard heroines. It’s fun to play the ingénue who doesn’t die in the end.”

This is Perez’s debut performance in Dallas, and she said she could not have asked for a cast with more chemistry and energy to work with.

“Jonathan Pell [artistic director] is renowned for casting,” Perez said.

“It’s great that he thought of me to be a part of this young, vibrant cast.”

What’s so important to Perez about working with this specific cast is their willingness to fully explore their roles for more than just what’s going on vocally.

“Every artist in the cast is more open and more willing to play the lines in a new way,” Perez said. “This makes the story more intimate and more  a part of our modern culture.”

“Don Giovanni” was premiered for the first time Oct. 29, 1787, and more than 220 years later, it is a testimony to the persistence of art.

For those who have never seen an opera before, this is a fun and accessible story, and The Dallas Opera has made it easier than ever for students to attend.

Opening night will be simulcast to the brand new amphitheater in the Annette Strauss Square for a free night of opera under the stars.

Throughout the season, there are student rush tickets for $25 that can be purchased 90 minutes before the show.

Both of these opportunities are great ways to explore the Arts District and opera.

“Don Giovanni” opens Oct. 22 and runs through Nov. 7. For more information visit, www.dallasopera.org.

For more of the interview with Ailyn Perez, visit smudailycampus.com.

 

More to Discover