This production takes the worry out of opera, not by dumbing down, or making it too simplistic. Brooks' staging is uncluttered and intimate. The performances are physically dynamic and there is very little pomp and circumstance in this modern costumed production.
I have always enjoyed classical music, but (to my shame) not speaking enough French and no German/Italian [insert operatic singing language of your choice here], I have always felt intimidated about attending a full blown opera at say Covent Garden, that coupled with a bad experience of Benjamin Brittin's Albert Herring at the age of 14 always put me off. HOWEVER! This production shown on BBC 2 was superb. Peter Brooks' brief introduction as to the thinking behind his staging was very informative, especially when he explained that he did not intend to approach it in as (melo)dramatic manner as previous productions. He succeeded. The set was simple and open with painted hurdles and benches to be used (and moved) by the principle characters to denote various locations. He had the orchestra on the stage at one point. The principles all turned in excellent performances, especially Don Giovanni and Leperello his man servant. Their relationship was on a par with any of those found in Shakespeare. Peter Mattei was dynamic as Don Giovanni and has a beautiful baritone voice. His Leperello - Gilles Cachemaille a perfect foil, and they both brought out the humour in the play and the Don's arrogance.
The upshot is that Peter Brooks' production has given me a hankering to go and see a live performance, and surely that is what it is all about.
PS: My only criticism - get the cameraman sorted! We sometimes want to see the whole stage.
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