In the dense forest planted on the stage of the Haus für Mozart by director Claus Guth is the home of the rugged macho Don Giovanni. Assisted by his unsavory accomplice Leporello, he lures the ladies with the heady scent of danger. Christopher Maltman embodies Don Giovanni as an almost reluctant seducer - a man fated to bring misery to women and, ultimately, to himself. He heads an outstanding cast for a production that, by its very originality, demonstrates the strength of Mozart's original conception.
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.
For some reason, Daniel Barenboim's recordings of the Mozart-Da Ponte masterpieces have been overlooked. All three have splendid casts - and among them, this may be the least spectacular, but it is nonetheless a wonderful performance. Joan Rodgers has a gorgeous voice, and sings Zerlina with radiant and womanly warmth - no voce infantile here, thank the gods. It's a pity she hasn't recorded more. She is, fortunately, in Barenboim's two other Mozart-Da Ponte operas, singing her heart out as Susanna and Despina. Furlanetto has an interesting take on the role of the Don. He usually sings Leprello, but here he sings the part of Don Giovanni with a rather unique interpretation.
This version was long overdue for a DVD issue. I've owned the previous VHS and Laser-Disc editions and I've snapped up this DVD edition as part of a slip-cased Da Ponte Box Set released in the UK.
The quality of singing and acting talent alone would merit an immediate purchase but the production by Peter Sellars makes it an essential recommendation to any opera lover. It grabs you by your throat and never lets up until the tragic finale. And the finale will take your breath away.Amazon.com
Solti conducted Don Giovanni in nine performances during the 1954 Glyndebourne season : on July 7, 9, 11, 14, 17, 21, 23, 25, 27. These performances of Don Giovanni were Georg Solti's only Glyndebourne appearances. This complete performance was broadcast live from the opera house on 17 July 1954. The source recording is part of the 'Itter Broadcast Collection' held by Lyrita Recorded Edition Trust.