THREE DIVERSE PRODUCTIONS featuring Love’s Twists and Turns by Claudia Polzin, Independent Consultant

April is an exciting month in Naples –and this author is featuring three very different stories of love on stage for all to enjoy.

At The Naples Players, the Sound of Music will be concluding on April 2 – be sure to see it before it closes. This musical is the final collaboration between Rodgers and Hammerstein and has become the world’s most beloved musical. It continues to inspire young love and love between two very unlikely people –a governess in the home of a widowed naval captain in Austria during Hitler’s reign of terror.

Gulfshore Opera will be presenting one of the greatest operas of all time – Don Giovanni with music by Amadeus Mozart and Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. This opera blends comedy, melodrama and supernatural elements; however, the composer cataloged it as an opera buffa. The opera premiered in 1787 by the Prague Italian Opera Company. Giovanni is a young, arrogant, and sexually promiscuous nobleman, who abuses and outrages everyone else in the cast until he encounters something that he cannot kill, beat up, dodge or outwit.

The opera opens with Leporello, Don Giovanni’s servant, keeping watch while his master is attempting to seduce the Commendatore’s daughter Donna Anna. The attempted seduction takes a bad turn and the Commendatore is killed in a duel with Giovanni. Donna Anna returns to the scene and finds her father dead and asks her fiancé to swear vengeance against her father’s murderer (at this point they don’t know that it was Giovanni).

Giovanni continues his escapades and Leporello is happy to recite his conquests which include: 640 women in Italy, 231 in Germany, 100 in France, 91 in Turkey, but the all-time high was 1,003 in Spain – an impressive 2,065 conquests. He continues his seductions and attempts at seduction until he finally gets caught
up in his web of lies and intrigue. During several twists and turns, everyone figures out that Don Giovanni is the murderer of Donna Anna’s father.

Ultimately, Giovanni goes to the graveyard where the Commendatore is buried and sees the statue of the Commendatore who surprisingly agrees to come to Don Giovanni’s home for dinner. When he arrives he offers Giovanni a chance to repent and when he refuses – as the statue disappears after taking Giovanni’s hand – Giovanni cries out in pain and is surrounded by a chorus of demons who carry him to Hell.

The final chorus tells us the moral of the opera: “such is the end of the evildoer: the death of a sinner always reflects his life.” This grand opera production will be at both the Barbara B Mann Hall on April 21; and Artis—Naples on April 30 with both performances in partnership with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra.

The third and final production is one of love: Rock of Ages, opening on April 27 at TheatreZone. This play follows the youthful dramas of star-crossed lovers while featuring 1980s classic rock hits. Originally debuting on Broadway back in 2009, Rock of Ages is set in Los Angeles. As developers try to clean up the Sunset Strip of its sex, drugs and rock and roll lifestyle, aspiring rockers and actresses join forces to protest the destruction. This production is one that will leave the audience cheering for the characters.

Three very different stories of love – spanning time from 1787, to Europe in 1938 to America in the 1980’s. Also representing three very different styles of music – ranging from classic opera to rock and roll.

Enjoy the variety of love stories in April – and
Don’t forget to check out the many concerts in Cambier Park and all of our area churches –
there is definitely something for everyone to enjoy in Naples.


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