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ENO does Don Modern-Style

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The licentious sexploits of Don Giovanni are rife with heightened drama and tension in this production of Don Giovanni at the Coliseum, and director Rupert Norris brings out a heavyweight performance from the leading cast and chorus, aided by Kirill Karabits’ subtle conducting.

In the title role, bass-baritone Iain Paterson is drenched with heartless bravura, emerging in all his unrepentant depravity in the finale. Sarah Tynan, as Zerlina, recipient of the Don’s lustful advances, is visually and vocally compelling; John Molloy as her jealous fiancé Masetto plays menacing and malleable in perfect balance.

The set piece is striking and, designed by Olivier- and Tony-award winning designer Ian MacNeil, is characterised by bold scarlet structures that are manoeuvred throughout the performance by masked, devilish figures.

Brindley Sherratt brings a highlight of the night, performing the Don’s servant Leporello’s aria, which catalogues his master’s sexual conquests in an amusingly modern fashion. The ENO debut of Katherine Broderick as Anna, seeking to wreak her revenge upon Don Giovanni for the murder of her father, is impressive.

Mozart’s opera isn’t a brief one, but Jeremy Sams’ lively translation is continually engaging, and the final song containing a lesson for us all, was a wonderful way to wrap up this lesson in morality!


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