Accessibility links


Sign In
  • Home
  • News
  • Your reaction: Don Giovanni in cinemas

Your reaction: Don Giovanni in cinemas

What did you think of the cinema relay of Kasper Holten's new production of Mozart's classic opera?

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

12 February 2014 at 9.50pm | 71 Comments

What did you think of Don Giovanni?

The Royal Opera House Cinema Season relays performances to over 1,100 cinemas in 29 countries around the world. The next live relay will be The Royal Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty on 19 March. Other productions in the 2013/14 Cinema Season include The Winter’s Tale and Manon Lescaut.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

12 February 2014 at 9.50pm

This article has been categorised Opera, Uncategorised and tagged by Kasper Holten, cinema, don giovanni, movies, review, Social Media, theater, tweets, twitter, your reaction

This article has 71 comments

  1. Simply fabulous ! I recommand it !

  2. Helen Dellar responded on 12 February 2014 at 11:47pm Reply

    Utterly captivating performance. I enjoyed it so much. Thank you!

  3. Miriam responded on 12 February 2014 at 11:48pm Reply

    I had a similar experience to Eniko Hudak who tweeted above with the picture and/or sound constantly breaking up. I don't think we heard a single musical number wthout any breakup. Then early in Act 2 the picture disappeared completely and the cinema had to turn it off completely for a few minutes in order to get it back. This was very disappointing.

    • Anne Comben responded on 14 February 2014 at 4:22pm

      I just didn't want it to end. We were so lucky in Dorchester, Dorset, no fault with the transmission whatsoever.

  4. Sanja Cvetkovic responded on 13 February 2014 at 12:07am Reply

    Super! Alex Esposito best Leporello. Elisabeth Watts outstanding. Sets, video design, lighting all tops. Would've loved prelude a bit more powerful. Interesting take on Don G's demise in the last scene.

  5. Anna Olsen responded on 13 February 2014 at 12:08am Reply

    Loved the production of Don Giovanni directed by Kasper Holten & relayed to the Lighthouse Southampton.
    Riveting production, exquisite voices, Superb acting - Mariusz Kwiecien has extraordinary charisma & provoked amazing insights.
    I'd so love to see it again especially at Covent Garden...Absolutely amazing.

  6. Mary responded on 13 February 2014 at 1:01am Reply

    Loved it, a gloriously unpleasing Don who pays a dark price. Liked the staging despite mixed reviews. Well done to Jonathan Haswell and his team for excellent translation to the screen.

  7. Lorna responded on 13 February 2014 at 7:39am Reply

    Your Blackpool audience had to give up because the satellite transmission was very broken up. What a shame! Let's hope the weather is better in June for Manon Lescault.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 13 February 2014 at 9:44am

      Such a shame Lorna! Hope that the weather has improved by June.

      Best wishes


  8. Loek van Rooy responded on 13 February 2014 at 7:46am Reply

    Saw the opera life on screen in Venlo - Holland
    together with some 120 other spectators. Fantastic, magnificent, superb were just a few reactions afterwards. And so it was !!

  9. Katy Hope responded on 13 February 2014 at 8:11am Reply

    Utterly brilliant. Such a total privilege to access such stunning productions without going to ROH. So what if it is a poor man's option, we got the most staggering, brain challenging and heart lifting experience...for £15!

    Sound quality and sync was great but at the Empire Sutton Coldfield they did need to raise the overall volume which they did in the second half....wring choice of screen too with interference from other screens and dreadfully uncomfortable seats!

    I did not know the opera, libretto nor story line before...what a treat! Want to immerse myself in more Mozart now..

    Dona Anna sublime acting and voice....Don Giovanni gorgeous and persuasive even as he unravelled with superb voice.....Zerlina cheeky naughty minx with voice of a real woman who will truly love her husband now she is cured of lust for Don G......Commendatore was scary, resonant, threatening and vengeful with voice from the bowels of the earth....

    I thought the rooms in his mind set was staggeringly creative but in broadcast it became a little like watching the Matrix. I would have preferred to get the full stage view as they had at ROH as it was too filmic and migraine making!

    Thank you for making all this culture accessible.... As Don G would say..." I cannot be cured if wanting another and another and another!!

  10. Judith Lugg responded on 13 February 2014 at 8:41am Reply

    Absolutely wonderful, innovative production.

    Thoroughly enjoyable ans, as someone esle commented, Mozart woulsd surely have enjoyed it!

  11. Marilyn Coombs responded on 13 February 2014 at 9:28am Reply

    Thought Holten's character interpretation was interesting but in my opinion the cast were not up to the job - with the exception of Mariusz Kwiecien, who was magnificent. Everyone else paled by comparison and seemed to disappear into the overwhelming set, unable to build strong enough characters to compete with the visuals. However, nothing could spoil the glory of Mozart's music. If he had written nothing else, this one piece would have made him immortal. Mozart+Mariusz+perfect cinema transmission = great evening. Thank you!

  12. Caroline Ryan responded on 13 February 2014 at 9:44am Reply

    Bravo, what a stunning production & exquisite talent. Loved the evocative set & costumes & all beautifully balanced....................lively, cheeky, moving & Wolfgang Amadeus would have been thrilled to see such a respectful, yet very modern, fresh interpretation! Keep thrilling us all please............

  13. Christine Kirkby responded on 13 February 2014 at 9:57am Reply

    Sadly Crewe cinema was unable to stream the performance at all because of the storm damage. Very disappointing for audience but tickets refunded. How many others were also unable to watch? We think the live streaming is the best thing culturally for years for those of us outside London and really look forward to the next one. Will Don Giovanni have a repeat later in the year?

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 13 February 2014 at 10:25am

      Dear Christine

      Some cinemas do 'encore' screenings - you can check here to find out if there are any near you:

      Best wishes


    • To save you looking, the nearest are Walsall or Leeds. Nothing in Manchester or Liverpool, for example.

      In the whole of the North East, there's one in Teeside. The next nearest are Leeds (again) and Paisley - the single one in Scotland.

  14. Phil Kirk responded on 13 February 2014 at 10:06am Reply

    We watched at the cinema in Southport, and unlike Blackpool the satellite link did not seem to be disrupted at all. However, it was disappointing that the sound and vision were poorly synchronised. This is universally the problem with digital TV but I believe there are ways to improve the sync. The sound was a whole beat behind the picture. This will be an even bigger problem for ballet when they will all be dancing out of step with the music. Come on you technical wizards - FIX IT!!!

    • Hi Phil,

      The sound and video are transmitted in sync and are checked off a satellite receiver by our satellite provider and here at the ROH. There is a sync test transmitted as part of our test loop (it is a green dot that travels around 25 circles in a second and beeps at the top red dot, so it is possible to see whether the sound is in advance or behind the pictures, and by how much - there is also a speaker check for each of the channels and some sample material), this is transmitted for an hour in advance of the show and between 11am and midday, and the cinemas are encouraged to tune in and check that everything is fine. We have had issues with some receivers in the past if they remain on while we are not transmitting cause the sync to be off when we start re-transmitting, which can be fixed by tuning away to a different channel and retuning to our channel.

      Could you let us know which cinema you were at - we can contact them and see if there is anything we can do to sort the problem out.


      Mark Thackeray
      Broadcast Engineer, Royal Opera House

  15. Linda responded on 13 February 2014 at 10:09am Reply

    Great evening enjoyed in south of France. Apart from a 10 second hitch early on, the broadcast was perfect. I loved Donne Anna and Zerlia particularly and DonG was superb - I really hated him! Thought the set was incredibly imaginative and convincing, especially when the cast were not supposed to know of each others existence. Agree that there were too mant close ups so we could not always enjoy the full effect of the set. Costumes were curious - had to think a bit about what they were supposed to convey?? Shame about the large bright Video logo which was present throughout the performance on the left of the screen. Congratulations to a wondeful production - best Don G I have seen.

  16. Peter Erdos responded on 13 February 2014 at 10:12am Reply

    The truth is that NOTHING can ruin Mozart's genius!
    Holten's idea is quite interesting, but it does not relate to Da Ponte's libretto.I am afraid I disagree with him about the Don's character. Yes he is a murderer, a rapist and a deceiver and that is why hell is the proper place for him. Just by chasing and seducing women is not quite enough for eternal damnation. Changing the characters and the story line may make it a production, but this one did not work for me. The cinema presentation was brilliant, one of the best I have seen .Kwieczen is superb on the level of all the great Dons of the past and generally excellent singing from all the characters.
    Special praise to the Vue cinema in Finchley Road for a superb venue for a great entertainment

    • "The truth is that NOTHING can ruin Mozart's genius!"

      From the experience of last night, oh yes it can.

      And did you see Calixto Bieito's production, seen about a decade ago at ENO?

      In both cases, you couldn't even shut your eyes and enjoy the music.

  17. Maureen Eyles responded on 13 February 2014 at 10:25am Reply

    Loved the production of Don Giovanni relayed live to Cine Dreams in Madrid. Superb performance by Marius Kwiecien and a great treat for only 13 euros!

  18. We abandoned the cinema in Malton after half an hour as the satellite feed continually broke up losing both sound, picture and even signal completely at times. I counted ten breaks of either or both in five minutes. A great shame as we were both looking forward to seeing this new production. Will it be repeated as a recorded transmission?

  19. John May responded on 13 February 2014 at 10:29am Reply

    Left after 10 seconds of a silent overture, for a full refund. As this would have been my first experience of a live opera relay to a cinema, it would have been stupid to have allowed the influence of the foul weather to skew my impressions of both this entertainment medium and the production.

    Is the ROH planning a rerun with a recording?

  20. Elaine Jones Evans responded on 13 February 2014 at 11:12am Reply

    Wonderfully entertaining evening from all on stage and no doubts the many behind the stage..also conductor and orchestra excellently executed performances..we did have trouble with link-up but pleased to say after what seemed a long long half hour an engineer rectified the problem in Port Solent..have booked to see Sleeping Beauty in March..what a wonderful way to be a part of the ROH evening from afar...Thank you so much and Mozart would be well impressed with this husband attended for the first time ever at 60 and is now hooked!!! Ha :) at last!!!!

  21. Mhairi McAllister responded on 13 February 2014 at 11:46am Reply

    Don Giovanni at the Royal Opera House fantastic!

  22. Tony Boyd-Williams responded on 13 February 2014 at 11:48am Reply

    A fantastic relay of a fantastic production. Wonderful singing and acting from all concerned plus the usual splendid performance from the ROH orchestra and chorus.Terrific conducting from Maestro Luisotti. and a brilliant set design from ES Devlin (the use of projections is stunning ) plus equally effective costumes from Anja Vang Kragh.Kasper Holten has shown with this production and last season's equally enjoyable Eugene Onegin that he is one of the most talented and inspired opera directors in our world .Bravo indeed !

  23. deborah Gauld responded on 13 February 2014 at 11:52am Reply

    Wonderful production ruined by loss of sound and captions in final half of second act and no sign of refund.
    This is the 3rd time transmission has been lost in Putney,London and previously no weather to blame.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 13 February 2014 at 12:13pm

      Dear Deborah

      Do approach the cinema directly to ask about a refund.

      I will pass your comment about previous transmissions on to our Cinema team. Could I check which productions you saw previously and what the name of the cinema is?

      Best wishes


  24. Helen responded on 13 February 2014 at 12:05pm Reply

    Watched it in Manchester last night and a perfect broadcast despite us battling 30mile/hr winds to get to the cinema. A fantastic production, visually stunning, I loved the projections. And Donna Anna was incredible. Also I loved the end, it worked perfectly in this production.

  25. Angela Horton responded on 13 February 2014 at 12:14pm Reply

    Well done, here in Birmingham we only had minimal disturbance from the weather and it didn't spoil my enjoyment. I've studied this opera as part of my Literature degree and absolutely loved it. Don Giovanni and Zerlina were my favourites but all performances were excellent. I'm possibly in the minority but I really enjoyed the projections, totally new experience for me. Only one slight disappointment and that was the ending. I would have liked some flames and everyone back on stage to sing but I respect and understand Kasper's decision and it did give us something to discuss at the end. I feel really fortunate that I can experience opera live as getting to the ROH on this occasion was impossible for me.

  26. I was in Newark (the original one, in Nottinghamshire).

    I had been looking forward to this for months - Don Giovanni is my favourite opera, so much so that I was prepared to pay for a stalls seat the last time I was in London when ROH had it on (the excellent previous production).

    I was delighted to discover that yesterday evening's showing had sold out here. But the breakups of sound and picture before it even started did not bode well.

    My fears were justified - there were *thirty one* breakups in the sound during the overture alone. Counting them was the only thing I could do - you couldn't listen to the music. The visuals were breaking up, stopping or losing sync too.

    The worst bits were the periods of ten seconds or so when it appeared to be ok, because the hope that everything would stay fine was cruelly dashed each and every time.

    When this continued into "Notte e giorno faticar", the house lights came up and we were offered a refund if we left. Virtually all the audience took it. This was about ten minutes in.

    Three questions:

    1. The weather forecast was known: that there could well be problems was apologised for in the 'before it starts' screens and by Bryn. Why wasn't an alternative link set up?

    2. There are very few 'encore' showings. The nearest to us is in Nottingham. It's a pain to get to (it starts at 1pm and the first train from Newark to Nottingham on Sunday is 3:32pm) but this is Don Giovanni. How do I know the same problem isn't going to happen again?

    3. Given how many tickets were sold across the country - we were far from the only place that sold out - for performances you know were unacceptably faulty, why is there not a more general reshowing?

    • Edgar Kamga (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 13 February 2014 at 5:07pm

      Hi Ian,

      Sorry to hear that the venue you were at was affected by the weather. To answer your questions:

      There is no ‘alternative link’ to a satellite delivery. Once we decide to deliver content via satellite, all transmissions over a specific area are unfortunately equally susceptible to be affected by the weather in that area regardless of the satellites hovering above.

      The actual satellite feed coming from the ROH last night was unaffected throughout the relay. Aside from a complete loss of signal on rare occasions yesterday, the disruptions you've referenced would vary depending on the local weather and on its impact on the actual equipment (antenna/receiver) fitted on site.

      In terms of encore showings, There are very strict restrictions on our ability to have encores of live imposed by:

      - We are only allowed to show an encore of the same live performance for limited number of days after the live

      - Technical ability by cinemas to record content on the night or not and use it for encores

      - Cinemas own scheduling within the handful of days following the live relay.

      In answer to your query about general reshowings, Here again, reshowing (or encores) are governed by very strict screening restrictions, i.e. only a few days after the live and depending on cinema chains own programming. The only way to organize a reshowing at a future date with a guaranteed clement weather forecast would be to organize a completely new live event.

      A few Positive note to point out: Some chains like SHOWCASE Cinemas already systematically offer encores of all our shows the Saturday and Sunday following each live broadcast.

      Other chains will organize encores of popular shows (The Nutcracker and Giselle for example) on a case by case basis within a week after the live depending on their ability to record the show on the night and on their programming schedule.

      I hope that answers your queries.

      Edgar Kamga
      Cinema Operations Manager

    • Hi Ian,

      Very sorry to hear that the Cinema that you were at had problems.

      At present there is no alternative to satellite transmission for the live relays - we transmit on two satellites but this is for logistical reasons (some cinemas have their dish pointing at one, some the other). This gives us transmission over the whole of Europe. We have looked at, and continue to look at other options for streaming but it is not really up to the job at the moment - our data rate for the satellite is about 16Mbps, which we could do on our in-house data network, but distributing it to the cinemas live is, at present, not a practical possibility. For non-live events we can distribute via the usual methods for cinema distribution (hard drive mostly).

      As Edgar mentioned, we do monitor the feed from the satellite here (we have a dish on the roof), as do our satellite provider, and the problems that were experienced both last night and on Parsifal just before Christmas are generally down to local issues, something over which we have no control. High winds can cause the receiving dish to move, causing the signal to drop away and giving you the break-up. Very heavy rain can attenuate the signal as well. As with all digital transmission, you tend to either get a perfect picture, broken up and unwatchable pictures or nothing at all.

      Sorry I can't be the bearer of better news.


      Mark Thackeray
      Broadcast Engineer, Royal Opera House

  27. Caxton responded on 13 February 2014 at 12:53pm Reply

    Gave up trying to watch in Huntingdon Cineworld because of frequent interruptions,loss of sound and picture. Very frustrating indeed. Don't think I'll chance it again if the service depends on a satellite link.

  28. Thoroughly enjoyed it in Tunbridge Wells. Luckily we only had a minor crackle at the beginning. I thought it was superb.I hadn't worked out that the Don had 2065 women! Am I right in assuming that the total comes up after adding all those "ladies" listed in Leporello's aria? Spain alone has 1003 if I remember rightly. I thought it was good to see all those names appearing on stage.

  29. Marike Tuin responded on 13 February 2014 at 1:23pm Reply

    I had been looking forward to this opera for a long time and am very disappointed about the quality of the streaming (in Zutphen, the Netherlands), we had to miss many highlights and the worst was that we missed the ending totally. One of the most frustrating cultural experiences of my live and it wasn't a cheap ticket. I like the concept but the same happened with Parsifal, luckily there it went better in the later parts of the opera.
    Hopefully technically things will improve (or the wheather will be better with next performances.....).
    I liked the performance for the parts that we could enjoy in peace but many times when I was enjoying it, it suddenly stopped, quite stressfull!

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 14 February 2014 at 11:20am

      Hi Marike,

      Sorry your experience was affected by the weather, a variable unfortunately out of our control. We'd recommend speaking to the Box Office on the night to get a refund in this situation.

      Glad you liked what you saw - hope to have you back for another screening soon.

      ROH Content Producer

  30. Muzio Scevola responded on 13 February 2014 at 2:47pm Reply

    Very beautiful production and a great Don Giovanni as Mariusz Kwiecie (a discovery!). What a pity for the conductor, not very well. I loved very much the director's ideas by Kasper Holten. I would like to see the show again and again... Many complients from Milano (Italy).

  31. Freda Lodge responded on 13 February 2014 at 3:12pm Reply

    Thank you ROH for the live screening of Don Giovanni last night at Rheged just outside Penrith in Cumbria. Despite dire weather and a brief power cut the transmission was fine. Superb music and fantastic singing, loved the set and Leporelli and DG great chemistry between them.

  32. Will Quirk responded on 13 February 2014 at 3:46pm Reply

    What a great idea! Watched in Birmingham with no interruptions at all. A great performance from Mariusz Kwiecien and an incredibly sensual Elizabeth Watts was wonderful. A very enjoyable live cinema evening that we will definitely do again. Bravo to everyone involved.

  33. Niki responded on 13 February 2014 at 4:03pm Reply

    Greeting from Tokyo! My first cinema live experience and my second opera. I was so into it! I shared all emotions in all casts... as Kasper said in his interview, it's not bad/good, evil/god, it's the every sentiments in every people. It's moving that I shared the same emotions with the people who viewed 300 years ago. Thank you so much!

  34. Grace C responded on 13 February 2014 at 4:38pm Reply

    Absolutely fabulous. Loved the production. The ink stained dresses and the scrawling in the set mirroring the book were inspired. Very intelligent set and costume design.

    No loss at Bracknell - however the captions were sometimes lacking and could have been better. However, the music was beautiful, the singing superb and so looking forward to the next one!!

  35. Dr D Hawthorn responded on 13 February 2014 at 5:58pm Reply

    We enjoyed the first 45 minutes or so at Nottingham's Cineworld cinema but after some trouble with seeing subtitles, the performance link was lost completely.
    Staff apologised after saying that they thought the failure was nationwide and gave us tokens for any other film/performance with no date limit.
    We hope to see the Encore performance at Showcase Cinema on Sunday.
    Do cinemas have control over sub- sur-titles?
    Most singing is generated by faces in the upper part of the screen hence sur-titles should be the default.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 14 February 2014 at 11:13am


      Sorry to hear your cinema experience was hampered earlier this week. The signal coming out of the Royal Opera House was unaffected so any unfortunate interference on the part of the weather will have been due to the weather in the region you were in (this wasn't a national problem and only a minority of cinemas were affected, though of course that isn't much comfort if you were in an affected cinema!).

      In regards to the surtitles, we offer a feed and cinemas are strongly advised to take up the pre-screening tests to ensure that these are working properly. We have a technical team on our end who are able to offer assistance should the venue's system not be working for whatever reason.

      I hope you enjoy the encore performance on Sunday.


      ROH Content Producer

  36. I liked elements of this radical production but the drama did not hang together for me in the first half. I thought the second half stronger and the musical cut the most sensible option to a rare Mozart mistake of diluting the dramatic ending, I really enjoyed Kaspers take on Don's demise with brilliant portrayals and singing of the Don, Leporello and Anna. Enjoyable.

  37. Steven responded on 13 February 2014 at 7:14pm Reply

    Good singing, especially Donna Elvira, but didn't like the plot and character changes - in particular making Donna Anna a willing victim was a bad move, not least dramatically, and also made poor old Ottavio not only a wimp but a cuckold, which detracted from the beautifully sung dalla sua pace.

  38. Stan Long responded on 13 February 2014 at 8:18pm Reply

    Quite sure that I would hate it just as soon as I saw all that muckin' about during the overture. Not at all like the good old days I thought.
    Well just how wrong I was once I'd got my eighty year old brain into gear! Loved every minute of it ! . Can I marry Donna Anna please or will D.G. fillet me with that tin knife of his? OK I'll settle for the maid, even if she can't afford a nighty.
    Seriously though, thank you for one of the best nights which I have ever spent in the theatre,

    • Stan Long responded on 15 February 2014 at 3:54pm

      We were foxed by the display of the names of D.G's conquests. How do they do it, I asked Finley, my thirteen year old grandson. Easy he said with all the spirit which goes with youth these days. "They just project the images onto a non visible mist. I learned about it at school" The things they learn at school these days. All we learned was not to get caught smoking behind the bike shed.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 15 February 2014 at 5:14pm



  39. Roy Smith. responded on 13 February 2014 at 8:33pm Reply

    Watched at Southport Vue cinema without any signal mishaps.Apart from this being a beautiful cinema to watch such a show, Don Giovanni didn't disappoint, and to watch this magnicant performance in such surroundings was a pleasure indeed..the close ups and screen trickery take you right into the production and the singing excelled.More please!....

  40. Don Giovanni direct from ROH on 12th Feb in London , was a real experience of excellent singing , staging and production. Sitting in a comfortable seat in the Chelsea cinema sipping wine, MAGIC , over 3 hours ! it was like being in the amphitheatre at the ROH , picnics, gourmet food ,at interval and during the performance
    everyone in the spirit of pure enjoyment of delicious music ,the true lovers of music who can't afford the prices at the Opera House .I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I did . The atmosphere was electrifying , I have seen really understood the character of Don Giovianni, thought he was just a romantic , but he is a serial womaniser !! Bryn Tryfel gave an excellent introduction ..
    Will follow what is on in the future ..but they get very booked up, quite rightly ... so book early ..


  41. Loved it - our power went but only for a minute or two. Driving home up the M6 was hairy but worth it. Just to let people know, 'rural' Cumbria has a fantastic, huge, screen at Rheged, near Penrith (where I was - only minutes off the M6) and there are also live screenings elsewhere in the county - e.g. last night Carlisle as well.

  42. First saw Don Giovanni live on stage at the ROH and just loved it! Live in the ROH, it was incredible! For me, one of the best performances I saw in the last years.

    That there is the option to see it also in movie theaters all over the world is fantastic. Lucky for us, in the movie theater in Rome we could enjoy an uninterrupted display.
    On the other side. Unfortunately the camera and pictures selection used in the cinema version did not work very well for my personal taste. Many of the nuances from the live performance got lost due to the disassembling of the overall picture in too many close ups.

    In the live performance the whole stage was giving a coherent and it itself holistic picture – The overall staging and changing video projected reflected a part of the feelings and inner conflicts of the characters. But it got for me lost in the cinema version due to the entire close ups.
    Like in a carpet where a single thread is not the same as the total. It is nice to get some close up’s. But if there are too many, then one no longer can see the wonderful carpet they together form.

    I hope that the DVD that might be done will be more “realistic” and as it was live in ROH and not like a puzzle of close ups as in the “live in cinema” version.

    So Don Giovanni in ROH is extraordinary! Singing and staging are wonderful! But for the live in the movie theater version I would have preferred less details and more overall view of the stage.

  43. Sara Meadows responded on 14 February 2014 at 11:07am Reply

    I loved it, and I'm still on a high two days later. I've seen many Don Giovannis (starting with Ruggiero Raimondi, glimpsed from the Upper Slips when I was a student) and this was by far the most gripping. I liked the measured slide from comic opera to psychological drama, the emphasis on deceit and guilt, the despair and delusion gradually spreading over the sets and costumes, the sense of being trapped. The final confrontation with the Commendatore was the first I've seen be genuinely scarey. And what's not to like about a sexual predator ending up lonely, hallucinating and despised! So bravo for the directorial idea, the brilliant design, the fantastic acting. And sublime music!

    I feel very excited about what is going to come up at Covent Garden. There seems to be a wonderful new generation of singers who can act. I loved the Eugene Onegin and Parsifal -hated The Sicilian Vespers - what's next? How many opportunities for tragic heroines carrying severed heads can Kaspar Holten create??

  44. peter edwards responded on 14 February 2014 at 1:17pm Reply

    Our little cinema in Alfaz del Pi 40 klm from Alicante in Spain was packed for this superb production with excellent reception in spite of high winds.A few days ago I watched a "traditional" version on dvd to remind myself of the opera but was blown away by the creativity of this production. I thought the singing was brilliant.Yhank you for giving us the opertunity to see live performances of opera and ballet.

  45. Miriam responded on 14 February 2014 at 2:05pm Reply

    Edgar Kamga stated above "We are only allowed to show an encore of the same live performance for limited number of days after the live". Who is it that imposes this restriction?

    In circumstances such as these, when the weather conditions have severely disrupted the live broadcast, I cannot undertand why affected cinemas should not be allowed to screen a recording at any future time of their choice when it can be fitted into their schedule.

    At my cinema in Canterbury they continued until the end apart from a short break, but with hindsight it was so bad that I think it would really have been better if they had given up.

    I have been to a lot of live screenings from various venues and often had some glitches or short breaks but never experienced anything that came remotely near to being as bad as this before.

  46. Sarah Conibear responded on 14 February 2014 at 3:13pm Reply

    Saw Antonia Poli at the live stream at Okehampton cinema from the ROH in Don Giovanni. Just stunning performances from everyone but particularly loved his gentle but passionate, heartfelt singing. Must be one of the greatest tenors since Placido. We love these productions. Hope to see more soon. Thank you!

  47. Colette English responded on 15 February 2014 at 12:46am Reply

    Don Giovanni-amazing staging, such imagination. The singing superb as always and a treat to see young singers taking appropriate roles. Just carried away. Thanks Cath

  48. Diego Vilarino responded on 16 February 2014 at 7:06pm Reply

    Mozart, Da Ponte, the savoir-faire of the ROH and the stunning use of digital media. I can't imagine anything better. All I can say is "Great. Keep it up"

  49. MartinWard responded on 16 February 2014 at 9:10pm Reply

    Absolutely wonderful production, with a magnificent cast; Mariusz Kwiecien, Alex Esposito and Elizabeth Watts the stand-outs for me, but that is a bit unfair on the other principals amongst whom there was no weak link.

    What a shame that there were so many technical glitches, though. I can't understand why we were still getting drop-outs at the encore showing. Surely in three days it should be possible to get a clean copy to the cinema? This was Showcase Leicester, where I understand the live showing was a right-off.

    I have read the earlier responses and realise that on a windy night the satellite dish at the cinema can be affected, but this is likely to affect your reputation, ROH, and certainly reduce uptake of future showings.

    Is there any chance of you releasing a DVD of this production with this cast? I'd just love to hear and see it again without glitches and would gladly pay a premium price for a DVD.

  50. Fiona Gillies responded on 17 February 2014 at 12:06pm Reply

    Loved the production, though felt the directorial decisions on characterisation weren't entirely successful, particularly with Donna Anna. Though her singing was beautiful.

    We saw the encore showing at the Showcase in Leeds yesterday and it was great. However we wondered why the entire interval was kept in, plus interviews with the director and Bryn wittering on. We were in the cinema for more 3 and a half hours. The actual start time should be been made clear, and a break of 10 mins max in the middle would have been fine.

  51. nigel responded on 22 February 2014 at 12:34pm Reply

    The Royal Opera House is always a super treat.

    Last night's Don Giovanni (Feb 21) was enjoyable.

    I don't believe I've ever had reason to stall in my praise, but a few reflections come to mind:

    (1) The conducting was ever leaning to legato - seemed to lack passion, energy and attack though was ever skilful otherwise. For me, this robbed the performance of it's heady, involving vitality.

    (2) New hi tech visuals were relied on heavily. They were, for me, often distracting, irrelevant and excessive. Cinemagraphic, synthetic, lazy.

    (3) I was surprised by some of the lead characters' vocals - they were not big voices and lacked the blade to carry them over the pit.

    (4) The ending was underwhelming. Perhaps, I've been spoilt by previous Don G's, the last one here with Schrott ended in fabulous pyrotechnics.

    (5) An average performance all round; though maybe the Schrott one is just too hard to rival?

    I remain a loyal fan of the ROH. Not all performances can be the best.

  52. Yves Couvreur responded on 28 February 2014 at 2:58pm Reply

    Outstanding performance, very moving and innovative (video,...). I thought I saw Don Giovanni for the very first time. A DVD would be a real blessing. Congratulations to ALL participants

  53. Helen Evans responded on 2 March 2014 at 7:35pm Reply

    I went to see this at an independent cinema in Letchworth. They made a great occasion of it, by having a trio playing music before the performance and including a drink in the price of the ticket. Unfortunately we only saw the beginning minutes as the weather disrupted the transmission, but the cinema showed an earlier ROH production with Simon Keenlyside as the Don, conducted by the late Charles Mackerras, so I still had a good evening, though I was intrigued by the bit I saw of the current production.

  54. Derek responded on 7 March 2014 at 12:01pm Reply

    I visit the Royal Opera House several times a year, buy good stalls seats, and increasingly come away feeling that I have wasted my money, after against-the-grain productions such as Robert le Diable and Gloriana. This time, I decided to save money and go to a screening.

    The dubious advantage of screenings is that one gets to see and hear directors, and it was instructive to discover how empty Kasper Holten is. Hell was not, he loftily informed the naïve literalists, a matter of flames and demons. It was loneliness. Well, of course: Dante amply demonstrates the isolation of the damned, though he gives us the symbolic landscape as well. But Kasper did not think himself obliged to explain why his vision of hell--the Don in an empty room--was superior to older versions of damnation. It must be a Good Idea because it was Kasper’s idea, and Kasper’s ideas are Good Ideas. QED.

    But does not Mozart’s infernal music rather call for flames and demons? Simple: cut it. But it could not be cut completely, and we were left with that hallmark of Regietheater: a stark disjunction between what we hear and what we see, in an art form whose glory used to lie in inseparably linking them.

    For good measure, we had an appearance by Jonathan Kent, himself no mean screwer up of Don Giovanni (not to mention The Flying Dutchman). Here, he uttered uptight banalities about Manon Lescaut. Yet such men increasingly stand between us and opera productions which do what the composer and librettist say on the tin.

    Three years ago, Heather Mac Donald complained that ‘Contemporary directors routinely suggest that a sexually experienced Donna Anna enjoyed Don Giovanni’s bedroom assault’. Never a man to balk at a cliché--so long as it’s an ‘innovative’ cliché, of course--Kasper does it all over again. The consequence is to make a mockery of Anna’s subsequent rage and agony and to make Don Ottavio even more of a dangler than usual. Because of the disparity between the directorial Idea and the stage spectacle, I remained completely unmoved by Donna Anna’s anguish. Again, the blight of Regietheater: the disparity between the heard and the seen.

    Holten’s other Excellent Idea was that the set should represent Don Giovanni’s mind: another not entirely original device. The problem here is that, until the final, permanent, relocation, Don Giovanni is structured, like the catalogue aria, around change of place with Donna Elvira cropping up in most of the places. The peasant music, for example, _tells_ us that we have moved to the countryside (‘Aperta Campagna’). But again, what we heard is not what we saw: what we saw resembled an urban Orange Order wedding.

    Virtually every new opera production now constitutes an attack on the values and assumptions of the work that is being staged. Some audience members, obviously, are happy with this. Fine. Please them half of the time. But what about those who want to see, not an over-writing of the original, but an interpretation and exploration of its complexities and implications; perhaps its contradictions? Are Kasper and his like perpetually to be permitted to pocket our £200 per ticket and run? I’m prepared to be robbed 50% of the time, but not all the time. The interpretations I desire could differ from each other greatly, but they should not produce the broken backed dichotomy of Concept and text that is now the almost invariable fare in opera houses.

  55. Tony Tabrett responded on 12 March 2014 at 7:30am Reply

    Greetings from Brisbane Australia. We were awestruck by your cinema production of Don Giovanni today, raising the benchmark in such a dramatic way by making opera so enjoyable in this 21st century. We also loved your selection of artists, such a superb combination, providing a most memorable and unique performance of exquisite quality and impact. Well done ROH.

  56. Sean O'Byrne responded on 27 April 2014 at 10:42pm Reply

    I didn't go because of Holten's previous fiascos, despite Giovanni being by far my favourite opera of all time. I just saw it on TV and I do wish in some ways that I had gone. This is because it wasn't as grossly offensive as so many other productions have been and Kwicien is surely the world champion Don. But.. £200 for a production that is doesn't offend too much and is basically nothing,,,hmmmm. And then the cuts at the end... why? Probably on balance £200 well saved.

Comment on this article

Your email will not be published

Website URL is optional