When Frank Gehry and Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte were invited to design the stage sets and costumes of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, it was bound to be an alternative interpretation of the original. The Los Angeles Philharmonic production was held at the Disney Concert Hall, a venue which had been designed by Gehry himself.
The prominent architect created the sets out of 80 rolls of 9 foot wide paper, crumpled and arranged in mounds, supported by wooden frames, providing an arctic vista, which some compared to the sheets of the notorious lover, Don Giovanni and others to a scene from a cameo role of Gehry in the Simpsons! Large white movable boxes were interspaced to provide the elevation on which the soloists were to perform. The paper mounds was understandably subjected to wear and tear during the 4 day event and renovations and repair work was carried out daily, which presented a different backdrop for every performance. The orchestra was positioned to the rear of the stage, thereby freeing up additional seats which brought the audience closer and therefore better connected with the performance.
The costumes by Rodarte held a distinct futuristic note, white being the main colour palette which contrasted with brightly coloured wigs worn by the artists. A 21st century statement to this new adaptation of the well-loved comic libretto, Don Giovanni.