Monday, February 10, 2014

Internationally acclaimed and locally trained opera director David Malis returns to for "Don Giovanni" productions

Crafting Asheville Lyric Opera’s original production of Don Giovanni will be the talents of nationally acclaimed singers led by internationally acclaimed opera singer and director David Malis.  A wealthy, handsome, Italian seducer will be soon be trespassing on the hearts and emotions of the audiences of Asheville and Western North Carolina in this Mozart classic.  Don Giovanni, to be performed Friday, April 4 with a special Sunday matinee April 6, will open Asheville Lyric Opera’s 2014 Season with lust, murder, and vengeance.

A Georgia native and Mars-Hill College graduate, David Malis originally entertained with Asheville Lyric Opera in its inaugural season 15 years ago as a singer, then continued for the next six years as both a singer and director.  Malis’s last performance with ALO was in the 10th Anniversary Season.  We are pleased to have him return after 5 years to direct Don Giovanni in our 15th Anniversary Season.  Malis brings his multitude of opera experiences to this unique production of Mozart’s take on the Spanish Don Juan. He has participated in the production of opera in almost every capacity, including music direction, costume and set design, choral preparation and conducting.  Having begun his singing career with the San Francisco Opera, Malis’s talents have won him the prestigious Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, and taken him around the world to perform in such places as The Metropolitan Opera, Teatro Colòn in Buenos Aires, and the Thêàtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris.  He has also been an Assistant Professor of Voice and Co-Director of the Opera Theater at the University of Miami, and Opera Director and Coordinator of the Crested Butte Music Festival and Festival de Musique de St. Barthélémy.  While continuing to perform in recent productions, Malis currently serves as Director of Opera and Professor of Voice at the University of Arkansas.

Mozart’s Don Giovanni is the tale of a wealthy Italian who carelessly indulges in the sensual lusts of life with no regard for those affected or his own reputation.  After being discovered to have stolen the innocence of Il Commendatore’s betrothed daughter, Don Giovanni murders the father in a classic duel and escapes.  He continues his exploits by shamelessly throwing himself at a newly-wed in front of her husband while thwarting the scorned advances of a former lover.  Through disguise and the ploy of a party, Don Giovanni tries to throw off his accusers, and once again escapes under their noses.  His sins eventually catch up to him when he invites the statue of the dead Il Commendatore to dinner and the invitation is surprisingly accepted.  The possessed statue finally brings justice to those lives that Don Giovanni has marred by dragging him to hell.

Asheville Lyric Opera has carefully chosen the talents of a variety of artists and performers to bring an original and unique approach to the classic Don Giovanni opera, reinventing for today’s audiences.   ALO proudly continues our support of local talents by giving them a stage to perform for the public, as well as bringing accomplished opera singers from around the world to Western North Carolina audiences.  David Malis’s direction will lead a cast of nationally acclaimed artists opening the new season, alongside maestro Scott Schoonover.  Returning for the first production of 2014 are Galen Scott Bower, as Don Giovanni, and Kathy Pyeatt, as Donna Elvira, performers from 2013’s Tosca.  Jonathan Ross, a teacher at Asheville-Buncombe Tech, will also continue to lend his voice talents, as well as local star Dominic Aquilino.  Debuting with ALO are Grant Knox, Director of Lyric Theatre at Furman University, international soprano Kristin Vogel, and Washington D.C.’s leading opera soprano, Randa Rouwehya.  This original production will feature a brand new design concept incorporating the contemporary and sophisticated talents of resident designer Julie Ross.  The wonderful Lyric Opera Chorus and Orchestra will continue to provide the musical support.  While performed in Italian English supertitles will be provided through a digital interactive experience. 

Friday, April 4, 2014, 8pm
Sunday, April 6, 2014 Matinee at 3pm
Diana Wortham Theater, Asheville, NC
Tickets are on sale now at the theater box office:  828-257-4530, or online at

For schools and community groups, tickets to the Don Giovanni April 2, 2014 Preview Dress Rehearsal at 7pm are available only through the Asheville Lyric Opera office.  Call ALO at 828-236-0670 to make your reservations. 

For more information visit

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