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Spotlight: Stefania Dovhan on "Donna Anna"

By Stefania Dovhan
03 Nov 2009

Stefania Dovhan
photo by Slavko Majevski

A familiar face on the German operatic stage, Ukranian-American soprano Stefania Dovhan makes her City Opera and New York debut as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, running through Nov. 22.


Im ecstatic and 100 times excited to be making my New York debut! Its the dream of every singer. New York is a dream city, City Opera is a dream company, and Donna Anna is a dream role!

This is my first Donna Anna, and at the same time Im preparing the role of Violetta in Traviata. This may seem like a big stretch, but vocally I see Mozart as quite Italian, and Verdi as very healthy for the voice, so really theyre not so far apart as they may seem. I approach Donna Anna with a juicy sound, similar to Violetta, rather than the more Early Music approach you sometimes hear. Of course a lot of my approach will be determined by the house, the conductor, the director. And Ill have a great director, Christopher Alden. Im completely open to his interpretation. I always find new things through the eyes of a director.

Who could ask for a better debut role than Donna Anna? First of all, Im a great fan of Mozart. Its almost a cliché to say that his music never gets old, that youre always finding something new in it, but its absolutely true. Secondly, its a huge challenge. And Im in the company of two other very exciting leading ladies, each very different. Donna Anna sometimes comes off as whiny, weak, sort of stiff. But I feel theres so much more to her. The more I get into her, the more I feel shes a very strong woman, or else she couldnt sing something like Or sai che lonore. Of the three women in Don Giovanni, I feel Anna is the most mysterious. You know exactly what happened between Giovanni and Elvira, Giovanni and Zerlina. But with Anna, when she tells her fiancé Ottavio the story of her escape from Giovanni, there are some chords here and there that suggest to me that maybe shes not telling the whole truth. In any case, shes got quite some fire in her!


Dovhan appears in Don Giovanni through Nov. 22. Click here for information and tickets.


Stefania Dovhan in Don Giovanni at New York City Opera
photo by Carol Rosegg





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