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Your Reaction: What did you think of Mozart's Don Giovanni 2018?

Audience responses and press reviews of Kasper Holten's Royal Opera staging of Mozart's tragicomedy.

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

2 July 2018 at 12.51pm | 11 Comments

Press reviews:
Independent ★★★★★
Financial Times ★★★★
WhatsOnStage ★★★
Times ★★

More press reviews will be added in due course

What did you think of Don Giovanni?
Let us know via the comments below.

Don Giovanni runs until 17 July 2018. Tickets are still available.

It is a co-production with Israeli Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, and Houston Grand Opera.

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

2 July 2018 at 12.51pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by Kasper Holten, don giovanni, Production, review, your reaction

This article has 11 comments

  1. Quality of performance - singers, conductor - excellent. Quality of production not so. Cant forgive the arrogance of a producer who thinks he knows better than Mozart and Da Ponte. Makes Donna Anna a hysterical hypocrite and misses the irony ( big drama but life goes on ) of the finale. Fortunately he has now departed. Pity his legacy lives on.

  2. Carolyn Guse responded on 5 July 2018 at 10:32am Reply

    I loved this production in 2014, I loved it last year in Barcelona and I loved it on opening night this year. The cast was truly magnificent.
    However, I am disappointed that the finale has been altered from Kasper Holten’s original interpretation. Don Giovanni, alone on an empty stage, huddled in a corner after appealing to the audience for help, was such a powerful image that it has never left me. Hell was solitude, abandonment, desolation. In this version, the ending was so truncated that the drop of the curtain came as a surprise, although I obviously knew how the opera would end! I felt shock but not the heart tugging emotional engagement of the original ending. I have tickets for the remaining four performances so I will not then be surprised by the finale, but it will be the original production which will remain my pinnacle of opera audience enchantment.

    • Carolyn Guse responded on 8 July 2018 at 11:29am

      Having now seen this performance for the third time, I feel I should temper my original comments! Mariusz Kwiecieñ has amazingly managed to convey the anguished desperation of the original ending into this new, shortened version. I might still prefer the 2014 ending, but I applaud this one! Bravo!!

  3. Nicholas Kenyon responded on 5 July 2018 at 9:13pm Reply

    Superb, fascinating production—but inexcusable to end before the end. I don’t believe Mozart ever endorsed this. BBC Radio 3 Record Review Building a Library this Saturday July 7th at 930am and then on iPlayer

  4. Liz Potter responded on 7 July 2018 at 8:22pm Reply

    Agree with the comments above. Loved the singing, the playing, the sets, and the production, but cutting out the glorious final ensemble is unforgivable. Mozart and Da Ponte knew what they were doing. I felt cheated!

  5. Martin Musgrave responded on 9 July 2018 at 11:42pm Reply

    Loved the production, amazing artistry from the singers, but even from the front of the amphitheatre the orchestra overpowered the singers too often, given the relatively small orchestra some more restraint was required!

  6. WU YUE responded on 9 July 2018 at 11:51pm Reply

    Amazing! Suggesting everyone have a try if possible, EVEN IF YOU HAVE NEVER WATCHED AN OPERA BEFORE. Impressive set design and lighting design. Quite sure would never forgot them. It is long, certainly; but the music (both sing and instrumental) are simply attractive and easy to follow (as long as you're not trying to learning music I guess...). Even if you don't really understand what they are singing it's still enjoyable. You could always hear both instrumental and vocal music however; it's not like La boheme (which is lovely and really suggested as well), which I don't know why but feeling focus on vocal mainly (that's quite personal however). I do feel quite tired after watching the whole opera. Too many details to be recieved for me as all of the music, acting and set design are not simple. But it worth. I'm feeling if I could get another ticket with suitable time I'll go for the second time......Then I could focus on acting next time. Generally, don't miss it and if this been recorded as an DVD, I'll certainly buy one.

  7. Ashley Armstrong responded on 13 July 2018 at 10:37am Reply

    A stunning evening (Thursday July 12). One of my favourite operas which, until last night, I had not heard on stage. A marvellous cast at the top of their game, and terrific work from Marc Minkowski in the pit. I wasn't troubled by the truncated finale; the 'happy-ending' and moralising always seemed tacked-on for convention's sake, and to assuage the sensitivities of the time: I think now we can move on from that if the production requires it, and this production did. Very much looking forward to watching the screening on YouTube to experience it all again. Well done all! Stellar stuff.

  8. The production was spectacular! I really like the set in the center rotating with the lights projected on it. The jeu de lumieres was awesome. There was really clever ideas. I have been captivated all along! The music, the singing and acting were fabulous. I had such a marvellous time!

  9. Francesca responded on 13 July 2018 at 9:24pm Reply

    I thought all the performers were fantastic as well as the orchestra but I did not understand why sometimes the singers were not acting according to the meaning of the words they were singing, e.g Leporello in the final scene is sitting on the floor immobile while Don Giovanni accuses him of stealing his food. Why is Leporello not eating while he sings "questo pezzo di fagiano piano piano piano piano voglio inghiottir"? And during the first act why Donna Anna doesn't faint at all while all the singing describe this?She sings:"io manco... io moro."
    and the libretto says (Sviene.) = she faints
    Then Don Ottavio keeps singing:
    Ah, soccorrete, amici, il mio tesoro!
    Cercatemi, recatemi
    qualche odor, qualche spirto. Ah! non tardate.
    (Partono due servi.)
    Donn’Anna! sposa! amica! Il duolo
    estremo la meschinella uccide.
    Donna Anna
    Don Ottavio
    Già rinviene..
    With Donna Anna standing well on her legs while Don Ottavio was singin the above, the whole scene felt strangely disconnected. What was the point?

  10. Marius Kociejowski responded on 14 July 2018 at 1:28pm Reply

    This is one of the dismal productions ever staged at the ROH although one could look to other operas that Kaspar Holten has ruined, Eugene Onegin being a prime example. This production failed on every level and even the singing, good though it was, completely failed with respect to characterisation. The staging was ugly and distracting. I saw it once, and on the second occasion I left after Act I because I could not bear to see the spirit of Mozart so mutilated. Maybe some of your readers like cleverness but it is always nearly at the expense of genius. At the very least we should expect intelligence.

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