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Don Giovanni / Budapest Festival Orchestra / Fischer

at Festival Theatre

* * * * -

Mozart’s opera survives this stripped down treatment.

Image of Don Giovanni / Budapest Festival Orchestra / Fischer

Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra bring their stripped down version of Don Giovanni to Edinburgh. With almost no sets, the chorus dressed in minimalist classical style become a mobile set, surrounding and giving context to the singers. It works up to a point, but symbolism has its limits, and occasionally, as when the Commendatore dies, it is less than convincing.

However, the singers are, on the whole, very good. Outstanding is Christopher Maltman’s Don Giovanni, a role he has made his own in recent years. He is ably backed up by José Fardilha’s Leporello and Sylvia Schwartz’s Zerlina, and the rest of the cast are of a decent standard too. They are well supported on and off the stage by the musicians of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, under the experienced baton of Fischer.

This Festival has, with its nine operas, restored opera as a central part of the programme. Some of them are staged and others are in concert form (as was the triumphant performance of Die Walküre three days ago). This Don Giovanni falls between these two performance approaches, works to some extent, and in any case, the music of Mozart certainly survives the experience.


Hugh Kerr has written on music and cultural politics for the Scotsman, the Herald, the Guardian and Opera Magazine. With Nana Mouskouri he was in charge of music policy for the European Parliament from 1994-99. He has visited over 50 opera houses round the world and this is his 50th Edinburgh Festival

Comments

One Response to Don Giovanni / Budapest Festival Orchestra / Fischer

  1. Mary Oswell says:

    Lucy Crowe was Donna Elvira, not Zerlina.

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