Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni

A few weeks ago, I attended a performance of Kasper Holten’s rather unusual revival of Don Giovanni at one of my favourite places in London: the Royal Opera House.

Mozart premiered Don Giovanni in Prague in 1787, with an Italian libretto written by Lorenzo Da Ponte, who also wrote the libretto for Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro and Così fan tutte.  The two act tragicomedy is a dark masterpiece based on the legendary lothario, Don Juan, featuring seduction, betrayal, and murder, with a strong cast led by Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecień as the charismatic libertine.

Holten’s visually striking - and at times distracting - production features an impressive set by award-winning designer Es Devlin, and video designs by Luke Halls.  There's a rotating house, inside which the action plays out, covered in video projections of swirling colours, splattered ink splotches, and calligraphy spelling the names of Don Giovanni's many, many conquests.  It's a dramatic story, but there's so much happening on stage that the set design stood out for me more than the drama.

I like to think that it's part of my cultural education to see all the opera and ballet classics, so whilst I enjoyed ticking another classic off my list, Mozart's operas aren't my favourite; I much prefer Puccini and Bizet.  What's next on the list..?

See what's on at the Royal Opera House | Read more opera postsculture features