Opera Scotland

Don Giovanni 2011Opera Project

Read more about the opera Don Giovanni

The visit to the Culross Festival by Opera Project has now become an anticipated pleasure of the early summer, and for the third year they brought one of the great masterpieces of Mozart and Da Ponte. As before, the director and designer was Richard Studer, and Jonathan Lyness conducted his own adaptation of the score for a band of ten - a quintet each of strings and of wind, with his own keyboard contributions as necessary. This year, for the first time at Culross, the staging was moved from the open south terrace to the north side of the house, and the playing area for singers and orchestra was under canvas, using a stage installed for the entire weekend of the Festival. On this occasion that was just as well, since the cool but pleasant Fife afternoon changed to occasional spells of drizzle from the first act onwards. The tent structure projected the sound clearly, and the audience clearly enjoyed the performance.

The staging was extremely simple, but effective, and the cast had no weaknesses at all - they all projected clearly Amanda Holden's witty translation. The characterisations were credible, and Marc Callahan pulled off the difficult challenge of depicting an unusually young and romantically charming Giovanni, who was, simultaneously, a thoroughly nasty thug. The problematic first act finale worked dramatically with the simple device of Giovanni threatening everyone with the same dagger he had used in his ruthless despatching of the Commendatore. In the supper scene the band were, of course, already on stage, but produced an appropriate additional sense of enjoyment of the various quotations. 

Performance Cast

Leporello Giovanni's servant

Jonathan Gunthorpe

Donna Anna the Commendatore's daughter

Helena Dix

Don Giovanni a young nobleman

Marc Callahan

Commendatore an elderly aristocrat

Julian Close

Don Ottavio engaged to Anna

Rhys Meirion

Donna Elvira a lady from Burgos

Claire Surman

Zerlina a peasant girl

Pippa Goss

Masetto a peasant, engaged to Zerlina

Simon Lobelson

Performance DatesDon Giovanni 2011

Map List

Abbey House Gardens | Culross, near Dunfermline

5 Jun, 16.00

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