MOZART, W.A.: Don Giovanni (Salzburg Festival, 2006)

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- (Disc 1)
Don Giovanni, K. 527
Libretto/Text Author: Ponte, Lorenzo da

Don Giovanni: Hampson, Thomas
Don Ottavio: Beczala, Piotr
Donna Elvira: Diener, Melanie
Il Commendatore: Lloyd, Robert

Set/Stage Designer: Zehetgruber, Martin
Costume Designer: Kastler, Heide
Lighting Designer: Traub, Reinhard
Stage Director: Kusej, Martin
Television Director: Fibich, Karina

Date of Production: 2006
Festival: Salzburg Festival
Venue: Grosses Festspielhaus Salzburg
Playing Time: 03:03:00
Catalogue Number: A04001469
UPC:

Libretto

Synopsis

Il dissoluto punito, ossia Il Don Giovanni is the full title of the opera that is widely held to be the most perfect work of its genre. Luckily, it is known today merely as Don Giovanni, a title that far better evokes the hero in all of his seductive power, his disregard for the social order, his merry wantonness. It is this hero who fascinated Mozart, not the "dissolute punito" - the "rake punished" - who harks back to the morals and conventions of the late 18th century.

As sung by baritone Thomas Hampson, who made his international breakthrough as Don Giovanni under Harnoncourt in 1987, the title hero superbly incarnates the aging rake and emotional anarchist who's seen and done everything. Ildebrando D'Arcangelo plays his servant without exaggeration, as an astute observer. While Melanie Diener dazzles as Donna Elvira, it is Christine Schafer and Piotr Beczala who, with their powerful stage presence, give exceptionally unforgettable performances as Donna Anna and Don Ottavio.

Director Martin Kusej interprets Don Giovanni with compelling images that cast the rake as a child of today's consumer society, a man who acquires women, uses them and disposes of them after consumption. Happiness can be bought - but the specter of retribution is never far away, as in the evocative "tableau vivant" of spent and broken high-society hedonists. Under the baton of young conductor Daniel Harding, the Vienna Philharmonic weave a fresh, transparent and jaunty musical fabric that underscores every nuance of passion and despair, as well as every shading of wit and humanity that make Don Giovanni a work of unequalled artistry.

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