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Don Giovanni is one of my favourite operas, and I like Simon Keenlyside and Bryn Terfel a lot, so I was all for seeking out this Don Giovanni. And mostly it is very good. The story is still compelling, Don Giovanni if a little more urbane and somewhat casual than usual and the music is as wonderful as ever.
The orchestra plays with style and passion, all the big arias are done with few major glitches and the Commendatore scene is sheer perfection in my opinion. Claudio Abbado's conducting is suitably involving.
The singing is excellent. For me the weak link is Patricia Pace's Zerlina. She has the ideal voice for the role, but for the role itself she disappointingly doesn't do very much with it. Ottavio is very appealing technically if on the stolid side.
Ildebrando D'Archangello though is a very convincing Massetto, Carmela Remigio plays Donna Anna with fire and there is enough spite in the performance of Donna Elvira to make me believe in the character.
Simon Keenlyside is a terrific Don Giovanni, he is handsome, he can act and there is care to how he sings every note and phrase. Plus I loved his restrained approach in the Champagne Aria. The two performances that really made this performance were Bryn Terfel, who I'd say is the best Leporello since Walter Berry, and Matti Salminen who makes for a terrifying Commendatore.
All in all, very good. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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