Set in the age of enlightenment as the romantic era is dawning, Opera Australia’s new production of Don Giovanni is fascinated with death. Even the costumes are dark, playing with shades of black and textured, lustrous materials.
Designer Robert Jones wanted to create a world where social status was key – a world that conveyed the dynamics of power and weakness that define the action of Don Giovanni. To do so, he and director David McVicar looked at hundreds of paintings of the period, an era of great portraiture.
“There are millions of pictures of the aristocrats and people posing with all their finery,” Jones explains.
“But at the same time, there’s a lot of really beautiful work of life in a village, life in an inn, life on the farm. We’ve looked at all of those things, and we really want to convey the different levels in society through the way that we’re costuming the opera.”
All drawings in this post are by Robert Jones, costume designer for Don Giovanni.