Opera Review: Don Giovanni

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 1787 opera was based on the legendary figure Don Juan, a rake and a seducer of women, but Mozart makes him a real villain. Set at a wedding, in Tuscany, the lead’s character is quickly shown to be charming, controlling and without conscience. Seducing anything in a skirt and finally killing the father of one of his conquests.

By

Presented by Co-Opera
Reviewed 4 May 2019

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 1787 opera was based on the legendary figure Don Juan, a rake and a seducer of women, but Mozart makes him a real villain. Set at a wedding, in Tuscany, the lead’s character is quickly shown to be charming, controlling and without conscience. Seducing anything in a skirt and finally killing the father of one of his conquests. Jeremy Tatchell is convincing as Giovanni and his wonderful voice does justice to the famous score. Eddie Muliaumaseali’I plays well as his servant Leporella, his voice blends well and he succeeds in making his large frame afraid of Giovanni’s.

As the Commendatore Josh Rowe dies in the first scene, after challenging Don Giovanni to duel for attempting to rape his daughter Donna Anna, but we hear his fine voice in the later scenes when he returns with a strong presence to play the Statue/ghost. Sara Lambert who unfortunately was ill and unable to sing all of the parts plays Donna Anna beautifully. At short notice Bethany Hill stepped in and did a marvellous job of filling in what Lambert could not manage.

There are other ladies the Don is chasing, but one is chasing him for having abandoned her, Donna Elvira sung by Sarah Sweeting with passion, torn between rage and longing. Don Ottavio  (Jiacheng Ding) has sworn to avenge Donna Elvira by killing Don Giovanni but he slips away. Zerlina (Lisa Cannizzaro) catches Giovanni’s eye and he gains the ire of Masetto (Rod Schultz) her fiancé. Cannizzaro is flirty and fun whilst Schultz plays a nervous man trying to fake bravery: they provide much amusement. Erin Holmes is listed as the Chorus Leader but does much of the chorus and small parts; she is everywhere, always animated.

Nicholas Cannon has directed another fine travelling show for this touring company, with the Commonwealth Society Ensemble lead by musical director Josh van Konkelenberg providing excellent music. I am thankful that they started this tour in Adelaide.

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @franeds

Rating out of 5: 4.5

Venue: Thomas Edmunds Opera Studio, Adelaide Showgrounds
Season: 4 – 5 May 2019 & Dubbo (May 10), Morundah (May 11) Camperdown (May 15) Penola (May 16)
Duration: 3 hr
Tickets & Bookings: As venues, ticket prices and booking contacts vary, click http://www.co-opera.com.au/events/ for information on individual performances

Photo Credit: Lester Wong


Overall
4.5

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