I managed to nab a cheap ticket to Kasper Holten’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni – got to love those bargain slip seats – and settled down to watch as the tale of the legendary lover unfolded. I’m familiar with the Don Juan/Don Giovanni legend, not least through Byron’s long poem, but this was my first encounter with the operatic version.
Es Devlin’s intriguing set, on which the names of Giovanni’s conquests appear as if handwritten, is the context for the Don’s adventures, which see him try to escape the wrath of the husbands and fathers whose wives and daughters he has seduced, occasionally switching places with his servant in an attempt to avoid them. Christopher Maltman does well in the title role, a convincing and charismatic hero (or antihero, depending on your view).
I’m no opera expert, but I enjoyed the music and the singing, and I found the piece very funny in parts. The dark ending, which sees Don Giovanni descend into hell, produced a strong impact. One of the best opera productions I’ve seen at the Royal Opera House.