The heat won't be just from the fires of hell that swallow up the Don in the opera's finale. Starring as the Don is Uruguayan bass-baritone Erwin Schrott, a 1998 winner of Domingo's Operalia competition who has been making quite a name for himself as both singer and barihunk — a combination perfect for this role, as he demonstrated earlier this year at Covent Garden.
Washington National Opera has an interesting bit of casting for the Don's servant, Leporello. Tonight and for the next three performances, Russian baritone Ildar Abdrazakov takes the role; in the second cast, he will take over as the Don, while his older brother Askar sings Leporello.
In both casts, sopranos Erin Wall and Anja Kampe will play the wronged ladies, Donna Anna and Donna Elvira, with basses Trevor Scheunemann (Masetto) and Morris Robinson (the Commendatore). Tenors Shawn Mathey and John Tessier will alternate as Don Ottavio, while sopranos Marisol Montalvo and Amanda Squitieri share the role of Zerlina.
This new staging of Don Giovanni will receive eight performances from this evening through November 16. Information and tickets are available at www.dc-opera.org.