Don Giovanni at Snape

Don Giovanni, English Touring Opera, Snape Maltings, May 8

Don Giovanni, English Touring Opera, Snape Maltings, May 8

IN the English Touring Opera's Don Giovanni we first glimpse the Don through the screen of Soutra Gilmour's austere yet effective set during the dramatic slow introduction of the overture: hands clasped and raised as if in supplication for past sins. It is a striking image, and it is this darker side of Mozart's opera which proves most effective in Jonathan Munby's new production.

Munby sets it in Spain, but the Fascist Spain of the 1930's; the Don, not a nobleman of Seville but a high ranking officer, or policeman, it's not clear.

Though apart from costume and a few Fascist salutes this doesn't interfere too much with the opera.

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Roland Wood as the Don had an impressive vocal presence, maybe not especially seductive when wooing Zerlina, but dispatching everything with energy, including a great champagne aria, and Adrian Powter was in fine voice as Masetto.

Not so effective were Jonathan Gunthorpe's somewhat wooden Leporello or Eyjolfur Eyjolfsson's Don Ottavio.

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Fine dramatic singing from both Julia Sporsen as Donna Anna and Laura Parfitt as Donna Elvira with Ilona Domnich as a charming Zerlina.

Michael Rossell ensured that everything moved at a tremendous pace, sometimes dangerously so: both visually and musically the banquet scene at the end of act one was a bit of a muddle.

However the orchestra was in splendid form in what was an enjoyable and dramatic production.

Frank Cliff

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