ROH Director of Opera Kasper Holten directs a mesmerizing reading of Mozart’s tragicomedy.
The impulsive and charismatic Don Giovanni travels through Europe seducing women, accompanied by his long-suffering servant Leporello. But when Don Giovanni commits murder, he unleashes a dark power beyond his control.
Don Giovanni continues to seduce and betray with his usual rapacity. Haunted by the ghost of the murdered man, he decides to invite him to dinner. The ghost urges him to repent – but Don Giovanni will not.
Mozart’s Don Giovanni – first staged in 1787 – offers boundless scope for directors. Kasper Holten’s interpretation focuses on the power of the creative imagination. Don Giovanni is cast as an artist who seduces an endless stream of women through his ability to create wonderful illusions. His catalogue of sexual conquests is a vain attempt to escape his own mortality, and ultimately comes at a high price.
Holten’s production is rich in both colourful comedy and exhilarating drama. Set designs by Es Devlin (Les Troyens) and costume designs by Anja Vang Kragh (Stella McCartney, John Galliano for Christian Dior), with video projections by Luke Halls and choreography by Signe Fabricius, portray the visually entrancing world of Don Giovanni. At the heart of the production are the beauty and invention of Mozart’s dazzling score, which ranges from gorgeous arias and dramatic duets to the brilliant layering of dance melodies that bring Act I to a virtuoso close.