An all-star cast featuring Deutsche Grammophon artist Anna Netrebko, Bryn Terfel and Anna Prohaska, delivers a sensational new recording of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, conducted by Daniel Barenboim at the start of his inaugural season as Music Director of La Scala. Recorded live at the opening of the 2011-12 La Scala season, Don Giovanni is now set to be released in time for Bryn Terfel’s 50th birthday on 9 November 2015. It also ties in with the traditional opening of the new season at La Scala – 7 December, the feast-day of St Ambrose, patron saint of Milan.
There is not much to fault in this quintessentially Russian opera with the lavish staging and fantastic costumes surely a feat to the eye. You cannot find much fault on the musical side of things either as many have expressed their opinion that this remains the finest version of the opera by a mile. The charismatic and almost demonic Gergiev conducts with his systematic, unabated passion for music which is most certainly in his blood and his players definitely do him proud. The cast is also top notch on all counts with Netrebko and Gorchakova particularly impressive.
Redesigned since it was first seen at the London Coliseum in 2011, Deborah Warner’s elegant and untricksy production of Tchaikovsky’s lyrical romance transferred last autumn to the Metropolitan Opera. Offering as it does a beautifully detailed and sensitively characterised reading of the piece, Chekhovian in atmosphere and period, it merits a warmer critical reception than it has received on either side of the Atlantic.