Friday, March 18, 2011

Still the One

Sitting at a performance last week of Mozart's Don Giovanni, I started pondered its standing in my heart. I first got to know it through the strange and wonderful 1979 Joseph Losey film of the opera with its stunning photography of Palladian villas and its echoey soundtrack. The opera, with its wealth of wonderful music remains the one I'd take to a desert island if I only had the one choice.

I certainly didn't have time to think on that question during last week's performance. The young cast at the University of Toronto's Opera Division were very fine, with some particularly outstanding voices, including Aviva-Fortunata Wilks as Donna Anna, a very witty Fabian Arciniegas (no awful hamming) as Leporello, and Geoffrey Sirett in the lead role. There was invigorating direction by Allison Grant and conducting by Miah Im. It is so refreshing to be witness to the energy of a young company.

5 comments:

Tess Kincaid said...

You know, it must might be my desert island opera, as well. I adore the mezzo aria "Batti Batti". Lucky you.

The Clever Pup said...

We have the film you speak of. Via the stero, my son (when he was about 8) and my husband used to swordfight along to the opening scene.

Blog Princess G said...

Tess: What good taste we share!

Clever Pup: Wonderful! I don't own the DVD yet, but will soon. :) Did your swordfighters sing along?

Robin Gosnall said...

Sounds like you had a better evening than me; I watched Amadeus, the stupid film based on Peter Shaffer's excellent play. I saw it (the play) at the National with Paul Schofield as Salieri, Simon Callow as Mozart and Felicity Kendal as Constanze, so I find the film annoying at best. However, when it's shown on TV I usually watch it to remind myself just how dreadful it is.

The ludicrous scene in the film where the dying Mozart dictates the Requiem to Salieri is pure Hollywood and never fails to make me spit out my drink.

Joseph Losey's The Servant is my favourite film BTW.

Is Don Giovanni, the character, primarily a tragic hero, or a selfish, arrogant, deceitful aristocratic shit who deliberately rejects living a humane, sociable and considerate life?

Blog Princess G said...

Well I have to admit, I liked the film of Amadeus, but I know that people who saw the original said there was no comparison. I've seen a couple of other stage versions since. The Servant is brilliant, and I haven't seen it for ages. Dirk Bogarde took a big risk, shifting from his leading-man roles to playing the sort of characters he subsequently did. I think DG is a sexual sociopath.