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Filmed live at Covent Garden in 2014, Kasper Holten’s new production strives to reinvent the wheel. An ‘Extra’ feature has him and designer Es Devlin talking through the performance and explaining their directorial motivation, some quite obvious – Don Giovanni is a man who needs constant interaction – but why use one word when four will do? The production is a visual mess, set in a tiered set of rooms (think dolls’ house) that also revolves and is covered with constantly changing projections. Admittedly it’s technically superb. The cast is variable. Mariusz Kwiecien´’s Don is well sung and acted, but on neither account explains his allure; he doesn’t carry the weight of Holten’s interpretation. Alex Esposito is a detailed Leporello. Veronique Gens’ Donna Elvira is often vocally stretched, and Malin Byström’s Donna anna is occluded of tone and diction, and for such a striking woman the camera does her no favours when she is singing. Elizabeth Watts provides attractive tone and presence and Antonio Poli’s Ottavio is cleanly sung. Nicola Luisotti conducts briskly from the fortepiano.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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