1993,Glyndebourne touring opera, Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni


Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Librettist: Lorenzo da Ponte
Venue and Dates: Glyndebourne Touring Opera, 1993. It ran for 18 performances at the following Venues:
Sadler’s Wells: 21, 24, 29 September, 5, 8 October
Theatre Royal, Norwich: 14, 16 October
Theatre Royal, Plymouth: 21, 23 October
Palace Theatre, Manchester: 27, 30 October
Apollo Theatre, Oxford: 3, 6 November (not with Simon)
Mayflower, Southampton: 10, November
Conductor: Louis Langree

Director: David Massarella (Original production, Peter Hall)
Sets and costumes: John Bury
Lighting: Keith Benson
Choreography: Jenny Weston
Don Giovanni: Simon Keenlyside (Howard Quilla Croft in Oxford, 3 and 6 November)
Leporello: Steven Page
Donna Anna: Susan McCulloch
Donna Elvira: Susan Bickley
Commendatore: David Thomas
Don Ottavio: Adrian Thompson
Zerlina: Paula O’Sullivan
Masetto: Michael John Pearson
Notes: This was Simon’s first Don Giovanni.
If you have any further information please do let us know by emailing webmaster@simonkeenlyside.info


Opera, November 1993 (Rodney Milnes)

Don Giovanni

Glyndebourne Touring Opera at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, September 21

Sad not to experience the whole performance at this last showing of one of the great productions – the first night in 1977 remains unforgettable – but there are limits… Obviously much has changed in 16 years on both sides of the footlights, but David Massarella reproduced the outline of the Peter Hall production faithfully (including the roll of distant thunder at the Commendatore’s death), and John Bury’s designs have yet to be surpassed for their flexibility and atmosphere. Louis Langrée led a brisk performance – ‘authentic’ speeds and modern instruments don’t mix too well, and more than one movement turned into an ungainly scramble – but one properly appreciative of the music’s dramatic weight and purpose.

Hall’s view of Giovanni as a fish-eyed, pasty faced psychopath, so revolutionary in 1977, is no longer news. While Simon Keenlyside didn’t in any sense reproduce the reading, he remained dangerous, and dangerously charming – the beguiling musicianship of his singing alone saw to that. He is one of the most abundantly talented of the younger generation of British singers. And the versatile Steven Page is one of the most interesting: Keenlyside and this Giovanni-turned-Leporello worked out the sort of sparky partnership that has always been a feature of the Hall production.

Susan McCullogh (Anna) prudently refrained from pushing her healthy voice – she doesn’t really need to – and sailed through ‘Or sai chi l’onore’ confidently. If Susan Bickley’s Elvira was on the edgy, steely side, it was also ideally secure and spirited; Paula O’Sullivan’s Zerlina was a sweetie (and less naughty than Hall’s Elizabeth Gale). A duly sonorous Commendatore from David Thomas, and an unusually warm-voiced Masetto from Michael John Pearson.


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