HomeOperaThe Opera Tattler: SF Opera's Don Giovanni

The Opera Tattler: SF Opera’s Don Giovanni

_DSC4033* Notes * 
Don Giovanni, the final installment of the Mozart-Da Ponte trilogy directed by Michael Cavanagh, opened yesterday night at San Francisco Opera. It was a pleasure to listen to Maestro Bertrand de Billy conduct this lovely music and there was a lot pretty singing.

Put up-apocalyptic future felt very similar to one thing out of Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower, although that work is about within the a number of years from now moderately than the late 2080s for this manufacturing. It felt like violence may occur at any second within the decrepit model of the 18th century manor home that was as soon as so charming for Così fan tutte from the autumn.

There have been references to the earlier two operas, particularly within the costuming. One of many humorous purple gnome hats worn by Dorabella and Fiordiligi present up on a refrain member who is among the survivors of this dystopian world. The startling physicality of the singers was evident proper a manner within the demise of the Commendatore, who took a disturbingly very long time to die. The in depth projections throughout the overture which included hearth and shadows of individuals have been distracting and a bit on the nostril.

It’s all the time fascinating to see how administrators cope with varied components of the plot in a brand new manner. As an alternative of threatening his friends with a gun within the Act I finale, Don Giovanni places on sun shades and has Leperello blind them with the sunshine of his moveable projector. This system is used throughout “Madamina, il catalogo è questo” to indicate the record of names of Don Giovanni’s conquests, and seems all through the piece.

I actually loved “Don Giovanni! A cenar teco m’invitasti,” when the Commendatore comes for dinner as a monumental statue (pictured, {photograph} by Cory Weaver). Normally that is my favourite little bit of the opera anyway, due to these wild diminished sevenths and stentorian tones from the bass. Right here the large head that appeared was extraordinarily absurd and surreal and I couldn’t cease laughing, which was in all probability not the meant response, however definitely was probably the most memorable stagings of Don Giovanni I’ve ever seen. The descent to hell was significantly nice, because the statue broke in half and each actual hearth and projections overtook our rakish anti-hero.

As an alternative of the same old mishmash of the 2 variations of the rating, this time San Francisco Opera caught to Vienna (1788) model. So it had “Dalla sua tempo” however not “Il mio Tesoro” for Don Ottavio and “Restati qua… Per queste tue manine” in Act II, a duet for vengeful Zerlina and a moderately hapless Leporello. The orchestra was neat and clear, the onstage and offstage musicians for the assorted bandas all performed nicely. There have been a number of occasions when the music was a bit off-kilter, like for “Batti, batti o bel Masetto,” as Mozart’s music is unforgiving and exposes each flaw. Nonetheless, conductor de Billy was extra sedate than some others in current reminiscence, and it was good to really feel just like the orchestra was safe and never at risk of flying off the rails. That is the primary outing for our new refrain director John Keene, and it appeared nice, the refrain was cohesive and particularly robust as unseen demons for the aforementioned inferno scene.

The solid is stable, plenty of fairly singing and nice appearing. Because the Commendatore bass Soloman Howard won’t have had the gravity of an older man, however his quantity was good and his onstage demise throes have been convincing. Former Merolino bass-baritone Cody Quattlebaum was barely wood as Masetto, however maybe that works for the position. I do keep in mind him being charming in Walton’s The Bear in 2017, however clearly it is vitally totally different music. Soprano Christina Gansch sang Zerlina with heat, significantly pretty in her duet “Là ci darem la mano” and confirmed a extra sadistic facet within the duet “Per queste tue manine.” I nonetheless keep in mind Luca Pisaroni as Masetto again in 2007 as a result of I noticed 6 or 7 of the performances, however he’s an amiable Leporello and sounded strong. He was wonderful at bodily humor, and was very humorous when he tried to impersonate his grasp firstly of Act II.

_DSC8346Tenor Amitai Pati cuts a dashing determine as Don Ottavio, although he’s a contact underpowered. His “Dalla sua tempo” had a longing in it that was pretty. I preferred soprano Nicole Automobile’s Donna Elvira, her penetrating, taut sound is simply shy of shrill and was excellent distinction to soprano Adela Zaharia’s Donna Anna (pictured, {photograph} by Cory Weaver). These three singers blended nicely collectively, and I beloved their trio of Act I (“Protegga il giusto cielo”). Zaharia undoubtedly was the standout of the night. Her voice is incandescent, the low notes have richness and the excessive notes very shiny and safe. Her Act II aria “Non mi dir” was revelatory, probably the most lovely moments of the entire opera. Baritone Etienne Dupuis was no slouch both as Don Giovanni, he is a superb actor and has a pleasant, candy voice that’s vibrant sufficient to chop by way of the orchestra. I used to be impressed by his potential to channel the lankiness of Pisaroni’s Leporello although their frames are moderately totally different. He was additionally brutal with Donna Elvira (who in actual fact is performed by his actual life partner), particularly when he threw a dish of fish at her in Act II. Dupuis did nicely with “Fin ch’han dal vino calda la testa,” mild and sparkly and his “Deh, vieni alla finestra” was additionally very fairly.

Tattling * 
The couple in entrance of us in Row S Seats 2 and 4 have been chatty, however the maskless individual subsequent to them in Seat 6 was even louder, he had the sniffles and his respiratory was so distinct and in my ear I believed it may be my date that was snarfling a lot. The girl in Seat 4 could not take it and switched to Row R Seat 2 earlier than Donna Elvira’s entrance.

This was good in that her date (whose masks was fastidiously tucked beneath his chin) needed to lean ahead to speak to her, and thus the sound of their voices was additional away from me. Once I gigglingly recommended to my companion that it was she that had brought on all that racket, she was offended and incensed. She rolled up her opera program and hit me as she proclaimed “Batti! Batti!”

Not one of the three returned to their seats after intermission. I didn’t discover any digital noise throughout the efficiency however a whole lot of viewers members dropped issues.



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