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2001, Zürich, Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni


Photos by Oli Rust, Zurich-Fotorust

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Librettist: Lorenzo da Ponte
Venue and Dates: Opernhaus, Zürich
8, 10, 14 February 2001
Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Director: Jürgen Flimm
Sets: Erich Wonder
Costumes: Florence von Gerkan
Don Giovanni: Simon Keenlyside
Donna Elvira: Cecilia Bartoli
Leporello: Lucio Gallo (8 Feb) / Laszlo Polgar (10, 14 Feb)
Il Commendatore: Alfred Muff
Donna Anna: Isabel Rey
Don Ottavio: Roberto Sacca
Zerlina: Liliana Nikiteanu (8, 10 Feb) / Rachel Harnisch (14. Feb)
Masetto: Oliver Widmer
Chorus and Orchestra of the Zürich Opera
Notes: Notes: Simon’s debut at Zurich



“Don Giovanni with charisma”, a review in German from Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 10 February 2001


This review is still available online in the archive of the NZZ but you have to pay for it.  Below is an English translation.

“The Don Giovanni production of the Mozart-cycle by Jürgen Flimm and Erich Wonder in Zurich is an anything but happy event, but now it suddenly has a centre, a – not at all static – pivotal point: Simon Keenlyside. Here finally is an interpreter of Don Giovanni with charisma; attractive but mysterious. With regard to his voice the English baritone may have been already more impressive, more powerful elsewhere. In his debut in Zurich under the brilliant conducting of Nikolaus Harnoncourt on Thursday, the piani and pianissimi above all were most fascinating, in addition to that his vocal dexterity, the subtlety with which he treats the language – and of course always his distinctive, vigorous and soft timbre. What predestines Keenlyside as a performer of Giovanni is his ability to show varying facets in changing situations and to develop his charisma from just this. With the Leporello of Lucio Gallo – also a remarkable debut in Zurich – who stood in for Lászlo Polgár, he forms a blood brotherhood of master and servant, and the new cast from the company has enough individual profile to demand different strategies from the seducer: Isabel Rey as Donna Anna with a surprisingly radiant soprano, and Liliana Nikiteanu as headstrong Zerlina. What a pity that Cecilia Bartoli’s hysterical Donna Elvira spoils the balance.”



Photos by Oli Rust, Zurich-Fotorust

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