The Monte Carlo Opera presents Mozart's legendary Don Giovanni, with a libretto of Lorenzo Da Ponte, in a performance conducted by Paolo Arrivabeni and staged by Jean-Louis Grinda.
"Everything in the staging is precise, straight, powerful, without useless ulterior motives nor introspective unsaid things: characters just are, with their strengths and weaknesses, their mockery and their desires, their innocence and their dishonesty. Nobody manages uninjured but the cataclysm of feelings totally works.(Newspaper Le Soir, on Jean-Louis Grinda's staging)
Erwin Schrott is the infamous seducer of legend, perfectly mastering the secrets of Don Giovanni. Among his conquests, we find Patrizia Ciofi as Donna Anna, rising soprano Sonya Yoncheva, (winner of the Operalia Competition in 2010) as Donna Elvira, and Loriana Castellano as Zerlina. The bass Giacomo Prestia is Il Commendatore, tenor Maxim Mironov, a bel canto specialist, is Don Ottavio. Last but not least, Leporello is brought to life by the remarkable Adrian Sampetrean.
In Seville, Don Giovanni devotes himself to the art of lovemaking, his designs faithfully aided and abetted by his servant Leporello. Again and again, he tries to seduce Donna Anna (Don Ottavio's fiancée), Donna Elvira (whom he has already seduced but has forgotten) and Zerlina (Masetto's fiancée). Guilty of the murder of Il Commendatore (Donna Anna's father) and unmasked in the act by the fiancés of these young women, the impetuous womanizer refuses to express remorse despite the threat of revenge. After rejecting the words of the ghost of Il Commendatore, who visits Don Giovanni to offer him one final chance to repent, Don Giovanni is punished, swallowed by the flames of Hell.
In adapting Tirso de Molina's myth, Mozart boldly uses the form of the dramma giocoso, i.e. a joyful drama that mixes together the burlesque and the tragic. Although the embodiment of the jocular libertines of the 19thcentury, Don Giovanni is ultimately supernaturally condemned by social, moral and religious rules that he so much enjoyed defying. In addition to the opera's metaphysical overtones, Mozart's musical genius is on full display in his masterful score, which carries us to the border between fantasy and reality. Wagner himself declared that in Don Giovanni, Mozart had composed "the opera of all operas".
Picture: © 2015-Alain Hanel-OMC.