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Die kalte Welt des modernen “Don Giovanni” in Graz

Ein echtes Highlight waren die beiden Arien des Don Ottavio, die Pavel Petrov ungemein nuancenreich und spannend mit weich dahinströmender Stimme gestaltete.

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09 February 2020volksblatt.atVolksblatt
Don Giovanni, Mozart
D: Ivo van Hove
C: Bertrand de Billy
Opéra National de Paris 2021-22 Review: Don Giovanni

The Paris Opera presented a revival of their own production, directed by Ivo van Hove, which, along with set designs and lighting by Jan Versweyveld, costumes by An D’huys and projections by Christopher Ash, have created a powerful and meaningful adaptation of the famous myth of Don Juan. The production’s use of its theatrical resources is so well-balanced that every scene is a surprise and a thrill to see: something very uncommon in modern performances, where stage effects are often overused, making productions repetitive and tedious. The sets were three concrete buildings with numerous doors, windows and stairs. The buildings were in a constant state of movement throughout the entire first act, but the movement was so slow that it could not be perceived: one only realized that the perspective of the stairs and walls had changed after a while. The effect was subtle but left a terrific impression. In Act two the audience, having grown accustomed to this aspect of the set, received a shock when the Commendatore appeared and the buildings suddenly turned around with great speed, creating a claustrophobic, enclosed space that represented the imprisonment of Don Giovanni. There are projections, used only in this scene, depicting thousands of persons moving. The images enlarge as the scene progresses, to finally show a group of people in the mud moving against each other. The effect was electrifying. Sets and costumes are in grey and light brown, reflecting the moral decay of the protagonist. The buildings appear with curtains, flowers, hanging clothes and plants bursting from their balconies, turning these monolithic concrete abstractions into a naturalistic environment. The concept works fantastically and the effect of the lighting on the constantly moving and changing sets creates a sense of infinite possibilities. Van Hove opted for a naturalistic acting approach, making the several comical moments of the opera believable, as well as Don Giovanni’s final fight to save his soul from damnation. French conductor Bertrand de Billy opted for a fast and frenzied tempi. The agile tempo of the Andante in the Overture marked the rhythm of the whole opera; he was precise with the dynamics and rallentando but always sustained a rapid tempo. This was in accordance with this opera as a whole: a performance Mozart classified as “dramma giocoso”—that is, a “comic play,” as “drama” did not have the sense of tragedy that it would later attain. The overture, the final scene of Act one and Don Giovanni’s dinner in Act two were full of energy. De Billy knew he also had to obtain all the dramatism that the Paris Opera Orchestra could provide, in scenes like the beginning of the Overture, the killing of the Commendatore or the confrontation between Don Giovanni and the Commendatore—and this he executed perfectly. De Billy presented the Vienna version of the opera, which contains a single aria for Don Ottavio—”Dalla sua pace”—an extra buffo duet for Leoporello and Zerlina, and a new recitative for Donna Elvira before her second act aria “Mi tradi quellálma ingrata.” But instead of ending the opera with Don Giovanni descending into hell, de Billy maintained the buffo and moralistic ending of the Prague version with a final ensemble. The Paris Opera orchestra shone in the pit and the choir accomplished its brief appearances with excellence. Overall, it was a splendid, dramatic production with a great cast of singers where the female voices outshone their male colleagues.

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14 February 2022operawire.comMauricio Villa
Don Giovanni, Mozart
D: Elisabeth Stöppler
C: Andrea SanguinetiMarcus Merkel
Die kalte Welt des modernen “Don Giovanni” in Graz

Ein echtes Highlight waren die beiden Arien des Don Ottavio, die Pavel Petrov ungemein nuancenreich und spannend mit weich dahinströmender Stimme gestaltete.

read more
09 February 2020volksblatt.atVolksblatt

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