In mid-March each year, thousands of kids — American and Canadian — head for the beaches of Sarasota, on Florida’s West Coast, for “spring break”. Increasingly, opera-lovers too have made Sarasota a mid-March destination — not for the beaches, but for the acoustically first-rate and pleasingly small (only 1,100 seats) Sarasota Opera House.
Don Giovanni has always been among the most popular operas in the standard repertoire. A quick check of the statistics from the last five seasons puts it at No. 10, out of a total of 2,581 operas performed by over 900 companies worldwide. Not only is it held in the highest regard by opera lovers, and scholars, but composers the likes of Rossini, Tchaikovsky, Gounod, Flaubert and George Bernard Shaw also had nothing but praise for this dramma giacoso.
Be they Arthur Erickson's Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, or The Copenhagen Concert Hall in Denmark, concerts halls are dream spaces whose designs tell us just as much about ourselves as we tell about them.