After the success of Così fan tutte and The Marriage of Figaro, René Jacobs' CD recording of this centrepiece of the Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy offered us his reflections on Classical opera and garnered serious acclaim worldwide. Performed at the Innsbruck festival in August 2006 and filmed in Baden-Baden, this production is nourished by his thoughts on Don Giovanni as taboo-breaker but still respects Mozart's intentions as closely as possible.
In the documentary Looking for Don Giovanni, the director Nayo Titzin follows the creation of this production in the search for musical truth.
Mozart’s sublime tragic comedy offers boundless scope for directors, and Kasper Holten has chosen it to follow his directorial debut of Eugene Onegin. He wanted to shift the emphasis from Don Giovanni’s sex life into a darker place, showing Giovanni’s womanizing as an attempt to stave off his own mortality. Each woman he seduces represents a life he could have had. Though it is a dark piece, Holten handles it with a light touch and works with a superb cast – Mariusz Kwiecien, one of the world’s leading Don Giovannis, Alex Esposito, a fresh, vigorous Leporello and acclaimed French soprano Véronique Gens.
This thrilling recording around concert performances at the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus is set to be a milestone in at least two ways. It marks the beginning of an extended Deutsche Grammophon collaboration with rising star Yannick Nézet-Séguin – the young French-Canadian maestro - “surely the most exciting talent of his generation” (Edward Seckerson, The Independent, January, 2011) who has already been celebrated from the Metropolitan Opera House New York to Royal Opera House Covent Garden, La Scala Milan and the Salzburg Festival.
More than two centuries after its creation, the emotional pull of this supreme opera remains absolutely intact. Dmitri Tcherniakov duly revisits the myth and makes the seducer of Seville a ‘man without qualities’, a cipher whose words have a hypnotic power over women. His words will disrupt the proprieties ruling the Commandatore’s family. His words are also what makes Don Juan such a subversive figure and the embodiment of one of the most powerful modern European myths. Leading the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra is one of the best Mozart conductors, Louis Langrée. Bo Skovhus portrays a dispirited Don Giovanni, old playboy and anti-hero. Kyle Ketelsen is his servant Leporello, currently a shoe-in for this rôle. The superb female trio is composed of Marlis Petersen (Donna Anna), Kristine Opolais (Elvira) and Kerstin Avemo (Zerlina).
Nikolaus Harnoncourt is one of the few true stars among conductors worldwide. Performances like the New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra enable him to reach an audience of millions, displaying the characteristic passion and fiery intensity that identify him, first and foremost, as a true servant of his art. His first opera production dates from 1971, when he conducted Monteverdi‘s “Il ritorno d‘Ulisse in patria” at the Theater an der Wien, and soon after this he embarked on a fruitful cooperation with Jean-Pierre Ponnelle at the Zurich Opera. Harnoncourt has maintained his close connection with the Zurich Opera to this day. Arthaus Musik presents two of his legendary Zurich productions in this unique Opera Collection. Staged by the famous director Jürgen Flimm, with renowned stars of the opera scene as Cecilia Bartoli, Rodney Gilfry, Liliana Nikiteanu and Roberto Saccà, this recordings are true highlights of Maestro Harnoncourt‘s work.
Don Giovanni, a libertine, a rake with a devil-may-care attitude, is portrayed magnificently by Teddy Tahu Rhodes in this Opera Australia production, where he first appears on stage in a costume where less is definitely more! Charismatic and sexy, Rhodes acting and singing are magnificent. His misused servant, Leporello, is played by Conal Coad, who skilfully promotes the opera's comic elements whilst delivering a thumping bass full of drama.
The classic stage designs of Carl Friedrich Oberle form the backdrop to the drama of Don Giovanni's last day on earth, before he is hurled in to Hell's flames by the Commendatore, Daniel Sumegi, whose basso profundo is befittingly momentous.
Luis Pasqual's powerful production for the Spanish capital sets Da Ponte's timeless story of sleaze and seduction into the dark world of 1940s Spain. Carlos Álvarez, in the title role, toys with the affections of Donna Anna, Zerlina and the Spanish lady Donna Elvira, before his overpowering methods finally bring his own destruction. "José Bros is a luxurious Don Ottavio, with an excellent high register, perfect diction and an exquisite vocal elegance. Alvarez is the perfect Trickster of Seville. Victor Pablo Pérez, one of the most reputed conductors of the Spanish scene, manages a crystal clear work, very attentive to the beauty of Mozart's score." (La Razón, Madrid)
In the dense forest planted on the stage of the Haus für Mozart by director Claus Guth is the home of the rugged macho Don Giovanni. Assisted by his unsavory accomplice Leporello, he lures the ladies with the heady scent of danger. Christopher Maltman embodies Don Giovanni as an almost reluctant seducer - a man fated to bring misery to women and, ultimately, to himself. He heads an outstanding cast for a production that, by its very originality, demonstrates the strength of Mozart's original conception.
When it comes to Mozartian perfection on the opera stage, one needn’t always seek it in Milan, Vienna, Salzburg or New York! At the Sferisterio Opera Festival in the centralltalian city of Macerata, a rapt audience was treated to a production of Don Giovanni ..that will enter the annals of opera (ForumOpera.com). This magnificent reading of Mozart’s timeless masterpiece sweeps the viewer into a libertine, 1B’h-century society dominated by sensuality and erotic impulses. They are acted out on the stage’s main prop, a large, unmade bed, not only by Don Giovanni, but also by justabout everyone eise in the .. nearly faultless cast” (ForumOpera.com). ln his role debut as the title hero, lldebrando D’Arcangelo is .. incandescent” (Gazzetta di Parma) and “doesn’t do Don Giovanni; he is the Don. Unsurpassable” (24 Ore).