Don Giovanni - Opera East

FRANK CLIFF Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh


> Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh

Perhaps it was the men's singles final or a starting time better suited to Gotterdammerung which prevented a full house. This was a pity for since their initial brilliant production of Turn Of The Screw five years ago this company of young artists has achieved an enviable reputation and this production certainly lives up to it.

Director Alastair Borg achieves fantastic results from his talented singers with a production that captures all the opera's humour and drama. The casting is flawless, the singing consistently good, with all of Amanda Holden's English translation clear.

William Berger made a splendidly feisty Don, obviously enjoying himself tremendously and dispatching the champagne aria at breakneck speed, while James Robinson's excellently sung Leporello was a perfect foil.

The vocal fireworks of Donna Anna and Donna Elvira's arias were dispatched with technical ease by Katrina Paukkunen and Madeleine Shaw though there was a hard edge to the upper register in both voices. Catrin Johnsson sang Zerlina's two arias beautifully, Robert Anderson was a splendid Commendatore and Ed Lyon, despite a heavy cold, managed Don Ottavio well though deprived of his two arias.

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The orchestra was pared down to a bare minimum; yet after a thin sounding overture one didn't notice so well did they respond to Christopher Gooch's spirit of direction.