Don Giovanni began life in 1630 in form of the drama El burlador de Savilla which translates into The Seducer of Seville by Spanish playwright Tirso de Molina. It certainly lives up to its title as he boasts over 2000 conquests during his travels. Its first documented staged performances began on the Prague stage in 1787.
The Welsh National Opera have bought to stage one of the most famous Mozart operas Don Giovanni. Featuring in tonight’s performance was Duncan Rock in the role of the murderous, womanising, arrogant protagonist Don Giovanni, alongside Joshua Bloom as Leporello his faithful and ill-treated servant and “black bookkeeper”. Rock certainly didn’t disappoint with his strong performance and outstanding voice used to beguile and woo the ladies into a false of security for his lustful means.
As soon as Meeta Raval entered the stage in the role of Don Giovanni’s wife Donna Elvira I knew we were in for an amazing performance. Her voice echoed through the large auditorium and she didn’t falter throughout the entire performance. Her presence and grace befitted the betrayed and aggrieved wife, an absolute pleasure to watch.
Designer John Napier created a bleak gothic dramatic grey backdrop of high walls adorned with many detailed carvings. They formed the backdrop to the churchyard, city walls and the banquet hall. The precision and timings were superb.
The final scene for Don Giovanni isn’t as dramatic in this version as compared to some productions of Don Giovanni that I have previously seen. However, I put this down to the fact that this is a touring production. Although the impact of him being dragged into the gates of hell still delivers a powerful image.
My final words have to congratulate the outstanding conductor Frederick Brown who led the Welsh Opera orchestra throughout the evening. Such a pleasure to have experienced.