Mozart and Da Ponte's masterpiece Don Giovanni directed for stage by Sven-Eric Bechtolf at the Salzburg Festival. Meet with the legendary and most incredible seducer of history, who with the help of his valet Leporello, seduced, conquered and abandoned young women. Punished for having killed the Commander, Don Giovanni manages to escape and keeps on seducing women, while sowing anger in Seville. Soon, he has no choice but repent or die.
Don Giovanni was premiered in Prague on October 29th 1787. This very successful opera, inspired by the myth of Don Juan, marked the second collaboration with the mercurial librettist Lorenzo da Ponte, after Le Nozze di Figaro. According to Sven-Eric Bechtolf, who presents here his production of the opera at the Salzburg Festival, "Don Giovanni is a romantic hero of metaphysical proportions." The stage director does not insist on the cynicism of the character – like it has been done a lot – but also sees Don Giovanni as a person who is craving for freedom and a lack of boundaries in a puritan society.
Don Giovanni is performed by the Italian bass-baritone Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, one of today's leading Mozart singers (like Luca Pisaroni who sings Leporello, and Lenneke Ruiten who performs Donna Anna). Leading the Wiener Philharmoniker is the German conductor Christoph Eschenbach, a heir of George Szell and Herbert von Karajan.
Picture: © Salzburger Festspiele / Michael Pöhn
Verbier Festival 2008