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Mozart: Don Giovanni / Kwiecien, Esposito, Gens, et al.; Orchestra & Chorus of the Royal Opera House; Luisotti [Blu-ray]

Notes & Reviews:

- Directed by Kasper Holten, Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House. - Cast includes Mariusz Kwiecien, Alex Esposito and Véronique Gens. - Es Devlin's designs include a slowly revolving cube depicting the interior and exterior of a many-chambered plantation-style mansion and innovative video projection. - Extra features: Introduction, Don Giovanni's Women, Director's commentary and a cast gallery. What the press said: "Holten directs meticulously: the staging has been rehearsed with exceptional thoughtfulness and attention to detail.'' The Daily Telegraph ''With a cast that could not be bettered today allied to an insightful if sometimes idiosyncratic staging, this is a Don Giovanni that is never boring, often thrilling, and demands to be seen.'' Seen and Heard International

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 187 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: Blu-Ray, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM 2.0, DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, German, Japanese, Korean


Insightful and delightful performance of Mozart’s masterpiece
This Blu-Ray DVD, recorded in 2014 at the Royal Opera House (Nicola Luisotti conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House), is a stunning example of what a talented director and cast can accomplish with a masterpiece.

Mariusz Kwiecien is *outstanding* as Don Giovanni, bringing warmth, loathing, and a touch of sorrow for Giovanni who can’t stop seducing women and does not want to stop (in the extras, he refers to Giovanni as a “dreamer” – interesting…). Alex Esposito does fine work as Leoprello, demonstrating exceptional physical skills along with comedic timing and solid vocals. Malin Bystrom is fantastic as Donna Anna, Giovanni’s latest conquest and the woman whose father Giovanni murders as he leaves her house. Antonio Poli is very satisfying as Don Ottavio, and Elizabeth Watts’ performance as Zerlina is just simply outstanding. But for me, soprano Veronique Gens was captivating as the woman that hates Giovanni and still loves him at the same time, wishing that he would come back to her while at the same time wanting him to pay for his behavior – she is simultaneously vulnerable and hurt and strong and sorrowful. Ms. Gens is just amazing.

The set of Giovanni’s house rotates and is designed to be projected upon, and the lighting and video design work is marvelous. Everything about this production, from the tightly choreographed character and set interactions to the visual interactions between the costumes and the projected names from the Don’s little black book, are well thought out and painstakingly done. And the orchestra does an incredible job with the score, accompanying the characters on their journey and seeing to it that the cast has a firm and delightful foundation upon which to sing against.

The extra features present on the disc are also interesting, giving the various performers feelings about their characters and the way they see them, as well as some behind-the-scenes insight into the rehearsal process and what the Kasper Holten (director) was trying to accomplish. There is also a Director’s Commentary that can be turned on while the opera is being performed.

This is definitely a performance worthy of the Blu-Ray medium, both sonically (the sound quality is *wonderful*) and visually, as every nuance is conveyed as best as it can be without being live in the opera house. Very highly recommended!

Submitted on 01/22/15 by KlingonOpera 
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Works Details

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Don Giovanni
  • Performers: Josephine Arden; Malin Bystrom; Alex Esposito; Véronique Gens; Dawid Kimberg; Mariusz Kwiecien; Antonio Poli; Alexander Tsymbalyuk; Elizabeth Watts
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Studio/Live: Live