WNO Don Giovanni Review – Empire Theatre, Liverpool

Don Giovanni
Image Source: The Arts Desk

Show: Don Giovanni

Location: Empire Theatre, Liverpool

Date: Thursday May 5 2022

Time: 19.00

Running Time: 180 Minutes

Age Rating: 14+

Introduction

The Welsh National Opera perform Don Giovanni – a womaniser who seduces and forces himself upon women (who appear unable to resist him).  Written shortly after The Marriage of Figaro and based on the famous legend of Don Juan (the master seducer from whom no woman can be considered safe). Don Giovanni (Aaron O’Hare – a last-minute replacement) pursues, seduces, rapes and murders and in the climax is pulled to hell by a stone statue of one of his victims come to life – he remains unrepentant.

His servant Leporello (Joshua Bloom), witnesses all his master’s wrongs and catalogues the details of the women involved. When one of Giavanni’s conquests ends in murder, it looks like his luck is about to run out!  The attempted rape of Donna Anna (Linda Richardson) results in him killing her father, the Commendatore (James Platt), and which her fiancé Don Ottavio (Trystan Llŷr Griffiths) swears to revenge.

Analysis Of Don Giovanni

My personal favourites of the show were Joshua Bloom as Leporello and the beautifully clear soprano, Harriet Eyley as Zerlina.  However all the singing was at the highest level.  Meeta Raval a beautifully sung Donna Elvira, the woman who can’t get over him, and Linda Richardson notable as a strikingly outraged Donna Anna, the woman he forcibly seduced.

The set was very atmospheric and moved about to suit the scenes. Dark and heavy mobile carved oak screens with bronze statues (one of which ends up as Don Giovanni himself) locked into perpetual torment. The costumes were very dramatic and the lighting excellent.

It is very hard to mention everyone but the staging and performance of this opera was excellent and the cast seems to complement each other very well.

They were led confidently by the baton of Tobias Ringborg and a lively performance from the orchestra.  The madrigal at the close was wonderful.

Summary Of Don Giovanni

Mozart reflects both comedy and tragedy in this opera. We are somehow cleverly lulled by the music, lyrics and performance into somehow liking Don Giovanni and his sidekick Leporello.

It is a fairly lengthy performance. And both the performers and the audience definitely need stamina for this show. But this atmospheric opera is well worth seeing.

Overall Rating: 8/10 – Very Good

Don Giovanni is one of three touring productions from Welsh National Opera; further details at https://wno.org.uk/.