Directed by Kasper Holten when he was in the hot seat at Covent Garden, this production of Don Giovanni pre-dates #MeToo. Now we are more sensitive than ever to tales of male power over vulnerable women, a challenge for all writers and directors.
But here the passion between the libidinous Don and an unusually sensuous Donna Anna is clearly a mutual affair. She is engaged to the sensible Don Ottavio, but it is the Don who gets her going. And it's Donna Anna who turns the tables on Giovanni, hastening his downfall.
Rachel Willis-Sørensen sang Donna Anna and Mariusz Kweicien sang the title role in Don Giovanni in 2018. Photo: Bill Cooper
A stylised tell-tale stain slashes across Donna Anna's sumptuous gown (costumes by Anja Vang Kragh), as it does the party dresses of many of the Don's guests at his crazy party, concluding Act One.
Luke Hall's video projections, starting with that scribbled lists of names, increasingly overlay the solid, revolving, Escher-like set of never-ending stairs designed by Es Devlin.
An attractive new cast is headed by Uruguayan baritone Erwin Schrott in the title role, with Christine Rice as Donna Elvira, Malin Byström as Donna Anna and Culture Whisper favourite Louise Alder as the vulnerable young bride Zerlina. Hartmut Haenchen conducts.
Cardiff Singer of the World audience prize winner Louise Alder sings Zerlina. Photo: Gerard Collett
Newcomers to this must-see opera will find the story well told, while there are fresh idea for existing fans.
Don Giovanni is sung in Italian with English surtitles. Performances are on 16, 19, 22, 25, 28 Sept; 3, 8, 10 Oct. Booking opens 9AM, Wed 7 Aug
|What||Don Giovanni, Royal Opera House|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
16 Sep 19 – 10 Oct 19, eight performances, times vary. Running time: 3hr 30min
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|