The da Ponte Project

May 2014

STARS took something of a gamble with this major presentation and happily it paid off. We hired the McLaren Vale institute hall, somewhat larger than the Willunga equivalent, and sold over 220 tickets. Although the performers' cost was high we covered costs thanks also to the sale of wine at out makeshift  bar.

Jamie Cock as Mozart at the piano and Ewart Shaw as Lorenzo da Ponte engaged in a dialogue in which da Ponte suggested that Mozart break away from tradition and try something all together more radical with his librettos. This collaboration resulted in three of Mozart's most famous and enduring works - Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro and Cosi Fan Tutte. In each of these the upper classes are portrayed as lecherous hypocrites, but they nevertheless became hugely popular with audiences comprised to a large degree of the upper classes.

Three internationally acclaimed singers - Catriona Barr (daughter of Judith), Mario Bellanova and Gisele Blanchard interspersed the dialogue with a potpourri of superb solos, duets and trios. The piece was crafted by Ewart and should have a wide appeal.

Unfortunately we have no photos of the performance but you can click here to see a six minute YouTube excerpt of the premiere performance in 2012.

Several audience members paid up and became new STARS members on t he night and we feel that we have made quite an impression in McLaren Vale.