Opera calls for 200 naked women for a #MeToo production of Don Giovanni

27 September 2018, 16:41 | Updated: 28 September 2018, 13:01

Opera calls for 200 naked women for Don Giovanni
Opera calls for 200 naked women for Don Giovanni. Picture: Getty

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Opera Queensland is looking for 200 female volunteers to take to the stage naked, for what the director has called a #MeToo production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Don Giovanni, a 1787 opera by Mozart, follows the story of the seducer and the wake of destruction he leaves behind him throughout Europe.

The original ending of the opera sees Don Giovanni dragged down to hell, where he has to pay for his evil deeds.

Read more: A beginner's guide to Don Giovanni

In light of the #MeToo movement, Opera Queensland, Australia, wants to change the ending to give Don Giovanni’s female victims more of a voice.

Director Lindy Hume told ABC Australia: “As a female director and as a feminist and someone who loves Giovanni and the story, I wanted to frame it in a way that the women are on an even playing field and give him what for at the end.

“He’s the anti-hero racing through Europe bedding as many women as he can.

“He’s a bad lad, and this is an era of #MeToo and you can’t look at a work like Don Giovanni without that prism.”

Opera Queensland
Opera Queensland. Picture: Getty

Hume’s production will see 200 naked volunteers appear at a critical moment in the closing scene, either naked or semi-naked.

“The confrontation with Don Giovanni and the patriarch figure Il Commendatore reach a point where Giovanni has to pay for his evil deeds,” she told ABC.

“Usually he’s just dragged down to hell, but I thought it would be really interesting if the final word was from all the women that he seduced.”

Hume said it would be an opportunity for people to experience what it feels like to be naked on stage.

“We want as many women as we can who are up for the adventure of tearing down to hell one of the great misogynistic womanisers in history, Don Juan.

“It is one of the most extraordinary scenes in opera and that’s the clincher, but if they're prepared to take some of their kit off then it will be directed and lit tastefully.”

However, reaction on social media wasn't wholly positive:

Hume continued: “It’s up to the women how much they want to remove. There are four performances but two rehearsals before that. It is still a scene that needs discipline, it’s not just taking your clothes off and diving in.”

The director also told ABC that no prior acting experience was necessary to take part. She added that if other women plucked up the courage, she would take part in the scene herself.

“I’m directing the show and it has a strong reveal moment and several minutes of movement that needs a little organisation.

“I won’t direct naked but I’ll share the moment with them.”