Tag: Keenlyside

Mozart – Don Giovanni / Zurich Opera 2007 (2)

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The concept of this production is used to really interesting effect at several points. One of my favorite partes is “batti, batti, bel Masetto,” which Zerlina (Martina Janková) sings not to Masetto, but alone. She’s at the bar and looks genuinely sad – the aria is not a wheedling “you’re not really mad, baby, are you?” number but rather an expression of frustration.

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Mozart – Don Giovanni / Zurich Opera 2007 (1)

I was tempted to begin by saying that someone who had never seen Don Giovanni before would find this production confusing, but on reflection I don’t actually think that this is the case. There are some moderately confusing elements – I will make an attempt at explaining  the woman in white and the three plum-sized rocks of compassion later on – but these are not obtrusive or disruptive.

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Don Giovanni / ROH 2008 (2)

(Previous section here.)

The ROH put together an extremely high quality cast for this performance. Their Donna Elvira is Joyce Didonato, who in general causes me to grin like an idiot whenever she appears on stage, and this case is no exception. Donna Elvira makes a grand entrance standing on a litter and followed by an entourage; she’s wearing a ragged-looking wedding dress, has a shotgun slung over one shoulder and surveys the scene before her through a spyglass, which she snaps closed in irritation at not finding what she’s after. “A chi me dice mai” is performed in a way that is perfectly of a piece with this entrance. Big and grand and ever so slightly weird. It’s great. DiDonato conveys the bizarrely humorous aspects of this character perfectly (this is evident again in the entrance right before “non ti fidar, o misera”).

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Not a Potato

This is kind of the opposite of a potato: a piece of staging the symbolism of which is so obvious and communicates the point so succinctly that you almost cringe:

Poor Donna Elvira. The story mocks her so relentlessly. She gets her own back at times, and there are certain Elviras that I would not want to get on the wrong side of, but it must be admitted that she is the sort of character who is liable to end up with a lapful of Painfully Symbolic Wine.