W. A. Mozart
DON GIOVANNIBook & Buy Tickets
13 th March 2020
The first co-production of the National Theatre in Belgrade and the Opera & Theatre Madlenianum of Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni is being performed in March with the new cast and a soprano Katarina Jovanovic as Donna Elvira, Bijana Jovanovic as Donna Anna and Sava Vemic as Leporello. The opera performance on Friday, 13 March is under the baton of Ana Zorana Brajovic. The choir, ballet and orchestra of the national Theatre in Belgrade are performing as well. Three years ago the opera was first staged at the National Theatre and then at Madlenianum by a director Alberto Triola, with Tiziano Santi in charge of the set design and Katarina Grcic Nikolic as a costume designer and both premiere performances were conducted by Marco Boemi.
Ana Zorana Brajovic is a je permanent conductor of the Opera of the National Theatre, where she has been engaged since 1994. She started her career as a pianist, graduated from the piano department in the class of Mirjana Suica Babic, theory department and obtained her master’s degree in conducting in the class of maestro Jovan Sajnovic.
At the National Theater, she began her career as a conductor and first conducted Mozart's Magic Flute, as the youngest conductor to stand at the Opera in Belgrade. She received the October Award for Achievement in Music Arts, in 1995, as the youngest candidate.
She won the first prize for the best performance and accompanying at the “Boris Hristov” competition in 2000 in Sofia. She received the Fulbright grant scholarship for the academic year 2003/4, studying at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, in the class of Prof. Gustav Meier.
In 2003, in cooperation with the Symphony Radio Choir and Orchestra she recorded a CD with Aleksandar Kostic’s suite, Deus Absconditus.
She has participated at the “Millennium Stage” concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington D. C. She was a conductor at the world premiere (2006) of the opera about Nikola Tesla, Violet Fire at the National Theatre in Belgrade and in the same year, in collaboration with the musicians of the Metropolitan Theater, she participated at the “Brooklyn Music Festival” in New York. She has worked at the Opera Houses in Baltimore and Washington.
She is a regular guest of the Symphony Orchestra of the Radio Television of Serbia. In cooperation with the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, in 2011 she conducted Giselle at the Sarajevo Theater.
In 2011, with Rossini's Barber of Seville, she marked 20 years of her artistic work. From September 2014 to September 2016 she was engaged as Acting Manager of the Opera.
Katarina Jovanovic has had a significant place in European art music for twenty-four years, proved by her numerous awards as well as the title of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters bestowed to her by the French Government. She has been performing at concert halls, opera stages and festivals in Belgrade, Orange City, London, Brisbane, Paris, Chicago, Berlin, Peralada...
Katarina Jovanovic graduated and completed her MA in Belgrade and continued her studies in London at the famous Guildhall School of Music. She studied classical singing with Irina Arsikin, Rudolf Piernay, Janice Chapman, Janine Reiss. She attended master classes of Thomas Quasthoff and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. She has also taught from Graham Johnson, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Radmila Bakocevic.
Among her operatic roles are Violetta Valéry, Tatiana, Lina (Stiffelio), Leonora (Il Trovatore), Norma, Margareta, Mimi, Aida, Amelia (A Masked Ball ), Donna Anna, Vitellia, Countess Almaviva, Electra (Idomeneo), Maddalena (Andrea Chénier), Goddess Kali (Two Heads and a Girl) etc.
She has worked with artists such as Davis, Elder, Eschenbach, Rostropovich, Vishnevskaya, Domingo, Casadesus, Mercier, Radulovic, Manof, Dukro, Fonten, Bouman, Mula, Raimondi, Sinadinovic, Kinka, Zebeljan, Stefanovic, Jovanovic…
She has recorded for BBC, France 2 and 3, ARTE, Meco etc.
In 2000, Katarina Jovanovic recorded her first CD with a pianist Bruno Fonten and a clarinetist Florent Héau for Transart Live. Her next CD she recorded in 2011 for Naxos with Jean Claude Casadesus and the Lille National Orchestra (Orchestre National de Lille). This recording of Bizet's works was chosen as the CD of the month by the Gramophone magazine. It was also in the annual list of the best recordings selected by BBC magazine.
Katarina Jovanovic was the Artistic Director of the Opera of the National Theater in Belgrade. She is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Music Arts in Belgrade, lecturing solo singing for thirteen years. For several years she has been intensively collaborating and performing in the country and abroad, with a pianist and professor Dejan Sinadinovic through Memnon Duo. In addition to concerts dedicated to the solo song repertoire, this artistic duo holds joint master classes in China, France and Serbia.
Katarina Jovanovic is the winner of the Grand Prix (First Prize) and the Audience Award at the Montserrat Caballé Competition, the award of the Association of Musical Artists of Serbia- UMUS for the best Young Artist, etc. She has also been a finalist of the Plácido Domingo’s OPERALIA - competition in Washington. She has twice been nominated for the most important French music award, Victoires de la Musique.
Biljana Jovanovic, soprano, was born in 1993 in Cacak. After High School of Music, she completed her Basic Academic and Master studies in the class of Assoc. prof. Katarina Jovanovic at the Faculty of Music Arts in Belgrade. During her studies, she has performed at many concerts at the Ilija M. Kolarac Endowment, Student Cultural Center - SKC, Belgrade Philharmonic, Sava Center.
In 2017, with Institute of Artistic Dance and a director Aleksandar Nikolic, she participated as a soloist in the plays Metamorphosis II and Jean-Paul Marat - Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat. In the same year, she became a member of the opera studio of the National Theater in Belgrade, under the mentorship of the principal singer of Belgrade Opera, Dr. Sofija Pizurica, and soon afterwards, she got the role of a soloist in the Queen Margot ballet where she collaborated with maestro Vesna Souc. In the meantime, she won the First Prize at the International Solo Singing Competition "Lazar Jovanovic" under the patronage of the Cultural Element.
She completed her master's studies with the role of Donna Anna from the opera Don Giovanni. She is an active member of the JENEJART Organization, led by vocal educators Jasmina Trumbetas, a principal singer of Belgrade Opera, Jelena Vlahovic, a principal singer of Belgrade Opera and Aleksandar Nikolic, a director.
In 2018 she made a debut on the Large Stageof the National Theatre in the operetta The Flittermouse by J. Strauss in the role of Rosalinda and the performances of the current repertoire (Suor Angelica, Rigoleto).
In June 2019, 60 years from the last performance, in the premiere cast of Konjevic’s opera Kostana, under the conducting baton of Ana Zorana Brajovic and directed by Jug Radivojevic, on the Large Stage of the National Theater, she made a debut in the operatic role of Stana and was a reviewed as a very supportive young soloist of the opera. (Zorica Kojic, “Danas” newspapers 2019)
Sava Vemic (bass), comes from Belgrade where he first attended ”Mokranjac” Music School and afterwards the Faculty of Music Arts in Belgrade and from 2014 to 2017 he was perfecting his skills at the opera studio of the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
In the season 2019/2020, after Verdi’s Don Carlos he has continued his guest performances at the Opéra de Paris in the operas Adriana Lecouvreur (Prince Bouillon) and Rigoletto (Monterone), where he will be from April to July 2020. Next season he will perform at Gartner-platz Theater in Munich as the king Henry VIII in Donizetti’s opera Anna Bolena, as Sarastro in Mozart’s Magic Flute, Gremin in Eugene Onegin. He will also perform with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich's opera Lady Macbeth, which will be recorded by the Deutsche Grammophon. In September 2021, he is performing in the world premiere of a new opera in Brussels at the La Monnaie Theater.
In the season 2018/2019, he performed as Sarastro in Mozart’s Magic Flute at the New National Theatre in Tokyo, as Death in Ullmann’s opera The Emperor of Atlantis in Seville Opera and at the Opéra de Paris (Bastille) in Shostakovich's opera Lady Macbeth, with new roles in the following season, in Verdi’s operas (Don Carlos and Rigoletto) and Chile’s opera (Adriana Lecouvreur).
In the season 2017/2018 Sava Vemic performed as Gremin in Eugene Onegin of P. I. Tchaikovsky at Hawaii Opera Theater and afterwards he made a debut at the “Aix en Provence” Festival in France as Lakai in Strauss’ opera Ariadne auf Naxsos, at ”Verbier” Festival in Switzerland as Sparafucile in Verdi’s Rigoletto and as Kino in Chile’s Adriana Lecouvreur, conducted by Valery Gergiev.
In the season 2016/17 season Vemic made his debut as High Priest in Verdi’s Nabucco at The Metropolitan Opera under the conducting baton of James Levine. With Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra he has performed Gremin (Eugenie Onegin). In Carnegie Hall he has appeared as a bass soloist in Haydn’s Nelsson Mass and at the Guatelman National Theatre he made a debut as Sparafucile (Rigoletto).
In the season 2015/16, Sava Vemic performed as Count Rodolfo in Bellini’s La Sonnambula in the production of the Metropolitan Studio and the Juilliard Theatre, reviewed with praises in New York Times. At Carnegie Hall he performed bass solo in Mozart’s Coronation Mass. The role of Ernesto in Donizetti’s Parisina d’Este he sang with the Opera Orchestra of New York (OONY) at Rose Theatre as well as the role of Sir Walter Raleigh in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux, with which he made a debut at Carnegie Hall in 2014. In the same year, at the Summer Festival in Tel Aviv he sang Osmin in Mozart’s The Abduction from Seraglio. He had his opera debut in 2013 in the role of Sarastro in Mozart’s Magic Flute at Madlenianum in Belgrade.
In addition to opera, Sava Vemic performs as a soloist in concert vocal instrumental parts and also performs recitals (New York, Bruno Walter auditorium 2017, 2016 and 2015, as well as solo recital at the SANU Gallery in Belgrade in 2011).
Sava Vemic has received numerous awards at different international and domestic singing competitions, including first prizes at “Opera Index” and “Gerda Lissner” Competition in New York, second prize at “Loren L. Zachary” Competition in Los Angeles and was the finalist of “Belvedere” Competition in Moscow and “Portofino” Competition in Italy, first prize at “Petar Konjovic” Competition in Belgrade etc.
Soloists, choir and orchestra of the National Theatre in Belgrade
In the anniversary year, when the Opera & Theatre Madlenianum marks two decades of its existence and successful work, for the first time we have set one of the most famous title- Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni, one of the most mature piece of arts from the last opus of the great master of music. The special curiosity of this production is the fact that it is the result of cooperation with the National Theatre in Belgrade and this is the first co-production of our sole two opera theatres in the capital city.
It is generally known that Amadeus Mozart has, during 35 years of his short life, created an incredible opus of over 600 compositions of various formats and contents, including 20 operas, 49 symphonies, 26 string quartets, 25 piano concerts, 18 sonata for piano, many other chamber pieces, as well as numerous cantatas, masses and the unrepeatable Requiem in D minor.
The Opera Don Giovanni stands side by side with the masterpieces of Mozart, such as The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute and Cosi fan tutte and therefore it is the matter of prestige for each theatre in the world to have at least one masterpiece of the child prodigy from Salzburg. Don Giovanni is the third Mozart’s opera set on the stage of the Opera & Theatre Madlenianum (Cosi fan tutte 2002. and The Magic Flute 2013.).
In this firs co-production of a private and state theatre in our region, the soloists, choir and the orchestra of the National Theatre in Belgrade will appear on the stage of the Opera & Theatre Madlenianum, direction is in the hands of an experienced Italian opera director, Alberto Triola and the monumental set design is also signed by a guest from Italy, Tiziano Santi. The great performing apparatus is under the baton of Marco Boemi. This is a modern, interesting and witty opera that will certainly attract great attention of the audience.
The plot of this opera in two Acts is full of ambiguity- not only textual, but musical as well. It revolves around Don Giovanni’s relationship with three women- Donna Anna, Donna Elvira and Zerlina. With the help of his servant, Leporello, he goes from one to another seduction.
However, when she tries to rape Donna Anna, the fiancée of Don Ottavio, everything goes wrong and the debauchee kills her father, Commendatore, in a duel. In the meantime, the mysterious Donna Elvira, the former Don Giovanni’s victim who wants to get revenge on him, arrives in town. In search of new challenges, the seducer is always trying to charm the beautiful shepherdess Zerlina as well, who is supposed to marry Masetto.
Anna, Ottavio, Masetto, Elvira and Zerlina decide to join together in order to punish the offender, but each time he, with Loperollo’s help, succeeds in escaping them. For some time he manages, through his cunning, to avoid the revenge of all those who he has hurt, but eventually he pays for sins.
Running away, he gets to the cemetery where the statue of Commendatore comes to life. Instead of being scared, Don Giovanni decides to invite a ghost statue to dinner. Elvira, who still loves Don Giovanni, begs him to change. When he refuses, the Statue arrives for a visit, asking him to repent. However, nothing can make Don Giovanni change his nature and that is why the hell opens in front of him and the demons drag him down to it.