Music by Mozart
The Lowry, 27 April 2012
For verve and vitality, this freshly minted production of what is possibly Mozart’s finest opera scores in the high nineties.
Highly, yes, yet not as frequently as its eponymous hero: the Don in question being a hedonist with an eye for the ladies. But fair dos to him, for when the gates of hell open up, he goes to his fate with nary a whisper of repentance. He is a stand-up guy in more ways than one.
What is special about this company – and Opera della Luna are one of the precious jewels of British theatre – is that they’ll revamp a classic work, including perhaps some topical jokes/references and a smidgeon of naughtiness, while keeping production values high and leaving the spirit of the piece intact, its stature undiminished. It’s that classic strategy of presenting vintage wine in shiny new bottles.
And so it proved here with Don Giovanni: terrific singing, an orchestra live on stage, a slue of sublime arias and dramatic scenes, a story that shifted from tragedy to comedy and back again. It was pure and dark, murky and light, quintessentially baroque. There was also Elvis and Marilyn and Dolly, and a young woman, name of Zerlina (the wonderful Rhona McKail), pleading to be spanked.
It was a mint production.
Opera della Luna is touring Don Giovanni (and The Parson’s Pirates too) throughout the UK, further details are here.