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.