The direction, by Linda Lehr, was quite refreshing for the seasoned opera-goer. Normally the opera is staged rather seriously and self-righteously, but this talented director brought out the humor that Mozart loves to hide within the most intricate details of his musical genius. Choosing to bring out the slapstick in the fact that Donna Elvira has been following Don Giovanni all the way across Spain was a stroke of genius on Lehr’s part. She then found humor in playing a rather tall debonair Giovanni against a short, stocky Leporello when they pretend to be each other. It was like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza trying to switch places, it just didn’t work that well and the hilarity ensued. Thankfully it made the audience forget about the orchestra and conductor – at least for a few seconds.
Despite being in the outermost reaches of Brooklyn, Regina Opera does not seem to be hurting for talent to perform in their productions. It is admirable to see a community-based opera company continuing solidly for 40 years. One can only hope that they continue their efforts to provide entertainment for another 40 or more. The next production to be mounted here will be Donizetti’s Don Pasquale in March. Hopefully, the recession will turn around soon and, with better budgeting in the future, more attention can be paid to developing a better orchestra and unloading some of the many duties that the clumsy conductor had to handle in this production. More information is available on the company’s website at www.ReginaOpera.org.