by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart’s unparalleled dramatic comedy of Don Giovanni, opera’s great anti-hero, produced by the critically acclaimed Opera North.
The Opera North orchestra plays thrillingly for Tobias Ringborg, who opts for tempos that feel sinister rather than sluggish. The capricious nature of the action can be difficult to follow, but Talevi's zany staging is like being walloped into submission with a big stick. As Mr Punch would say: that's the way to do it.
Two outstanding performances... Claire Wild as a very positive, clear-eyed Zerlina, and Alastair Miles as Leporello. This is one of the great comic roles, and he plays it to perfection. You will not see a better Leporello anytime soon.
More music-hall than Mozart, Talevi’s is a sexual, energetic production which the audience clearly relish, the cast returning for many bows.
Alessandro Talevi’s production is unusual in being unfailingly enjoyable, full of ideas, but refreshingly unpretentious.
The singing was magnificent, with no weak links, the acting likewise. William Dazeley, an attractively smooth baritone with excellent diction, was as compelling as Don Giovanni when inviting Zerlina to be his delight as when making his revengeful peasant attackers behave like swine, or refusing to repent at the end. Alastair Miles’ Leporello is really impressive. He is a versatile actor with a voice like dark chocolate, spot-on when it comes to the lowest notes. The award-winning Meeta Raval (Donna Anna), a relative newcomer, proves that she has great things in store for her, and Opera North veteran Elizabeth Atherton gives a terrific portrayal of Donna Elvira, from striking condemnations to moving arias. Christopher Turner, a fine lyric tenor, makes his Opera North debut as Don Ottavio, and Claire Wild is a spirited and charmingly erotic Zerlina who writhes about convincingly on top of Masetto, a superbly resonant Oliver Dunn. Michael Druiett as the Commendatore has remarkable stage presence, exuding authority even as a head poking up through a trapdoor. His voice at the feast sends all the right shivers through the audience – “Don Giovanni! A cenar teco m’invitasti…”
Alessandro Talevi has decided to bathe Mozart's darkest opera in a fresh light. Comedy, burlesque, funny walks and puppetry are major ingredients of his new production.
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