Don Juan is a stunning theatrical and music collaboration that explores the life of one of the most magnetic and seductive fictional heroes in Western literature – Don Juan – alongside the equally outrageous real life of his creator – Lord Byron.
Created and performed by acclaimed actor/director Tama Matheson and internationally renowned guitarist Karin Schaupp, the steamy worlds of Don Juan and the scandalous life of Lord Byron (Matheson) merge. Brought to life by Schaupp through the evocative Spanish guitar music of Turina, Pujol and Tarrega, Byron and Juan become reflections of each other and it grows increasingly difficult to tell where fact ends and fiction begins. As Byron himself famously put it, ‘truth is strange, stranger than fiction.’
Set to be one of the highlights of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Don Juan made its world premiere in late 2015. The concept was born when Karin Schaupp saw Tama Matheson performing in a production with the Camerata of St John in Brisbane. She was captivated, and suggested they collaborate. From this, they workshopped their favourite writers, composers and all the ideas in between.Don Juan was the result; and audiences love it.
“Don Juan investigates the extraordinary the life of the poet, Lord Byron – one of the most scandalous, irreverent, and witty figures in all of literary history – by delving into the depths of his great comic poem, Don Juan. The poem, which is largely autobiographical, becomes, in this production, a conduit into Byron’s life, tracing the parallels between the controversial poet and his magnificent creation; the result of which is a hilarious evening of scandal, shock, delight, sadness, and lyricism – suffused throughout with some of the most beautiful and affecting music in the guitar repertoire performed by the international acclaimed, Karin Schaupp,” said Matheson.
Don Juan is unique in form, with music and words carrying equal weight in the production, each one commenting on, and uplifting the other, to create a totally original theatrical evening.
“The result is a profound and hilarious entertainment, which gives a deep insight into the mind of genius, and the response of a great man to his time.
“With some of the most beautiful English ever penned, some of the most shocking and funniest episodes in all literature, and a collection of the most beautiful music written for the guitar, Don Juan is a heady mix of theatrical delights that will leave the audience glowing with excitement and passionate inspiration.
Don Juan will be performed on Saturday August 6 at 2.30pm at the Townsville Civic Theatre.
“Karin Schaupp’s playing is so perfect, so complete, that it seems like a miracle.” Badische Zeitung Germany
“Don Juan was a tour-de-force for both Karin Schaupp and Tama Matheson.” 4MBS-FM
The Australian Festival of Chamber Music is extraordinary, not just as a leading musical event in Australia, but for its place on the world calendar; artists and guests alike attend from all over the globe because of the incredible fusion of music, friendship, experience and celebration the event creates. It will be the 10th under the leadership of acclaimed Artistic Director Piers Lane AO.