Opera Scotland

Don Giovanni 2017Edinburgh International Festival

Read more about the opera Don Giovanni

2017 is the 70th year of the Edinburgh Festival, and the opera programme is a celebratory one with a distinctly expanded line-up of nine works. For the first time for ages, we have a residency by a major visiting company, the Teatro Regio, Torino, with Macbeth, the opera that opened that first Festival back in 1947, and La bohème. never before seen at the Festival, and a work that was launched at the Teatro Regio back in 1896. Scottish Opera provide a new staging of Greek, Turnage's ground-breaking piece that was a Festival co-commission in 1988. There is also a strongly cast  staging of Don Giovanni.

The operas to be performed in concert include Die Walküre, the second instalment of the Festival's survey of the Ring, as well as Peter Grimes. The 450th anniversary of Monteverdi's birth is celebrated with a trilogy of concerts in which John Eliot Gardiner conducts L'Orfeo, Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria and.L'incoronazione di Poppea, seen together in Edinburgh for the first time since 1978.

There are three further events, not part of the opera programme, but which should be highlighted. No Festival visit is complete without a morning concert at the Queen's Hall. Here there is a prelude to the Monteverdi event in the form of Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda in a recently discovered transcription by Heinrich Schütz. The gloriously dramatic Damnation of Faust by Berlioz is performed by Mark Elder and the Hallé, while the Festival continues its exploration of rare Elgar with a revival of the cantata King Olaf.

Iván Fischer began his traversal of the three Mozart-da Ponte masterworks at the 2015 Festival, with Le nozze di Figaro. This was given in a rather unusual format, acted out with a minimum of props, on the stage of the Usher Hall. Perhaps it was intended to concentrate attention on the music, while working more effectively than a pure concert performance. If so, it rather missed the mark, and divided opinion. This time round, the performances have been transferred to the more obviously dramatic environment of the Festival Theatre.

Christopher Maltman is now one of the leading lyric baritones, both in opera and recital. Early in his career (2000-2004) he sang in six concert performances of rare operas at the Festival. More recently (2012) he appeared as Don Alfonso with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. It seems astonishing that these performances of Don Giovanni will mark his Scottish debut in a staged production.

The rest of the cast is strong on paper, if relatively unfamiliar. Laura Aikin's only previous appearance, a decade ago, was in Bernstein's Candide, while Jeremy Ovenden has made a strong impression with Scottish Opera in both Mozart and Handel. Lucy Crowe's operatic roles in Scotland were also near the start of her career, though her appearances in Der Rosenkavalier and Falstaff left a strong impression. Matteo Peirone has an interesting challenge at this Festival, singing the youthful character of Masetto before returning as a member of the Turin Teatro Regio, doubling in the two character roles in La bohème, as the grasping landlord Benoit and sugar-daddy Alcindoro.

Performance Cast

Leporello Giovanni's servant

José Fardilha

Donna Anna the Commendatore's daughter

Laura Aikin

Don Giovanni a young nobleman

Christopher Maltman

Commendatore an elderly aristocrat

Kristinn Sigmundsson

Don Ottavio engaged to Anna

Jeremy Ovenden

Donna Elvira a lady from Burgos

Lucy Crowe

Zerlina a peasant girl

Sylvia Schwartz

Masetto a peasant, engaged to Zerlina

Matteo Peirone

Performance DatesDon Giovanni 2017

Map List

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

9 Aug, 19.00 11 Aug, 19.00 12 Aug, 19.00

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