Don Giovanni, Royal Opera House – ★★★★★
By Peter May
The current production of Don Giovanni at the royal Opera House with only one date remaining (17th July) was a musical delight. Mozart’s and Lorenzo da Ponte’s collaboration of this opera was brilliantly shown in this production, both in stage set design and direction The cast were hand picked for this production and it showed in the way this splendid cast of singers worked together to give outstanding performances. There are many arias in this opera so it gave the cast the opportunity to show their individual talent, unlike Cossi fan Tutti that have fewer.
Mozart’s glorious music sets the scene with the inveterate seducer Don Giovanni making the steely soprano Rachel Willis-Sorensen (Donna Anna) his latest conquest, Her father Willard W. White (Commendatore) is shortly murdered by Giovanni as he tries to protect his daughter.. Mauiusz Kwiecien was a powerful presence in his role of Don Giovanni, he played the lusty, swaggering betrayer with unmitigated zest. He was very well matched with Ildebrando D’arcangelo (Leporello) gave an exciting and humorous performance, especially when he gave Giovanni his clothes so that his master could disguise himself as Leporello in order to seduce Donna Elvira’s maid and escape from a beating, after he heard that Mosetto and his cohorts were looking for him.
As for the women they sang just as strongly. Hrachuhi Bassenz played the cunning and vengeful Donna Elvira so well, as did Rachel Willis-Sorensen, she was the unfaithful daughter to her fiancé (Don Ottavio) and of the dead father, but soon to rise Commendatore . For me though Chen Reiss (Zerlina) who is no stranger to this stage sang her aria to a witless husband trying to appease and placate him with sex with a warm and very appealing voice , as she did all the way through her performance. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable experience, don’t miss it.