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Sunday, 16 January 2022

Don Giovanni at Wahnfried

Montagu Events - Don Giovanni at Wahnfried
At Wahnfried, McGregor

On Sunday 16th at 4pm in celebration of Mozart’s birthday this month we have his opera DON GIOVANNI (2h55mins) in a live recording from the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden.
Performed by Erwin Schrott (as Don Giovanni), Anna Netrebko (Donna Anna), Luca Pisaroni (Leporello), Malena Ernman (Donna Elvira), Charles Castronovo (Don Ottavio), Katija Dragojevic (Zerlina), Jonathan Lemalu (Masetto), Mario Luperi (Commendatore), and the Balthasar-Neumann-Orchestra, Balthasar-Neumann-Choir, Thomas Hengelbrock conducting.

Opera Today wrote that “Schrott creates Don Giovanni in all his malevolent glory — virile, confident, arrogant. He is bursting with animal sexuality, yet manages to hint at the manic obsession that drives the character. Stunning.”

‘’ With Don Giovanni productions placing the opera in nearly every imaginable time and place, this one may be the only one set in wintertime – as if to underscore the underlying chill in its tale of sexual objectification. This modern-dress production by Philipp Himmelmann is full of handsome stage pictures bathed in twilight, wintry blues with most of the cast sensibly bundled up (Leporello in a nerdy plaid jacket), though the Don Giovanni of Erwin Schrott is still dressed for fall in body-hugging black with ample chest hair visible in his unbuttoned shirt. That makes symbolic sense because his character exists in a world apart from everyone else. Besides, who in their right mind would hire Schrott only to obscure his considerable physicality?
This well-shot, telegenic production – that unlike so many knows when to stop when dramatic points are solidly accomplished – underscores the opera’s sexual brutality with pistols and kisses that are literally cheek-by-jowl. If you’ve ever felt sorry for prim Donna Anna, she and Don Ottavio conquer their inhibitions this time around. The great tragic figure is Donna Elvira, sung by Malena Ernman as a creature of greater awareness than the others, dying a thousand deaths during Leporello’s Catalogue aria and bringing that sensibility to all that comes after.
Luca Pisaroni shows why he’s the Leporello of choice these days with a well-moulded baritone, Charles Castronovo sings Don Ottavio’s difficult music with exceptional artistry and Katija Dragojevic is such an all-round alluring Zerlina that she walks off with every scene she’s in.’’ Gramophone review

‘’ One element in particular makes this production worth seeing, which is the performance of Erwin Schrott in the title role. Simply put, to me he is one of the best Dons in recent years. He positively smoulders here, and is every bit the seducer, black hearted murderer, sinister charmer, bringing an animalistic sexuality and an obsessiveness pitched just right. He also sounds wonderful (looks it too), a dark rich voice with many colours and shade used with subtlety. While the others are not quite up to his level, they are still very good. Particularly faring well are Anna Netrebko (once married to Schrott) and Katija Dragojevic. Netrebko has grown in her interpretation of Donna Anna, her voice captivates throughout especially in a very poignant "Non Mi Dir" and the character's grief and thirst for vengeance are brought out very effectively by her, very movingly but also very frighteningly. Dragojevic is a charming and wholly adorable Zerlina, with a flexible and not too heavy or too light voice.’’ IMDb reviewer

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