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Subject: Re: Don Giovanni at the Met
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:39:35 -0400

text/plain (117 lines)

There was a review of this performance posted here a day or two
ago in which Giovanni - that is his name - was referred to throughout
as plain Don, as though Mozart's opera was about a guy named
Donald something.  I don't know how the tradition of calling him
"the Don" came about, but it has always irked me;  we never use
the title preceding Carlo, Pasquale or Jose that way, so why apply it
to Giovanni?  It's the equivalent of a commoner being known as "the


On Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 2:26 PM, Volpe, Russell <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I was there at the opening and here are some comments on the performance.
> Very happy to report on a fairly strong revival of the mediocre,
> uninspired, unit set Michael Grandage/Christopher Oram production of Don
> Giovanni at the Met (opened Tuesday night).
> There are two pieces of big news here.  The first is the return of Simon
> Keenlyside after a two year absence for medical and vocal problems.  He
> offers a fine account of the Don that is filled with knowing, wry touches
> with the text and great physicality and fine acting.  Here is the Cavalier
> rake to the tips of his toes and he inhabits the role completely.  His is a
> small-sounding baritone (no booming Don here) and one is quite struck by
> how short in stature Mr., Keenlyside is as well.  Of course, the fact that
> the Leporello and the Masetto in this cast tower at well over 6 feet, make
> Mr. Keenlyside look even shorter.  His lied-inflected "Deh vieni alla
> finestra" was one of the most gorgeous renditions of the aria I have ever
> heard. He drew the audience in with every word and breath.
>  The other news is that Paul Appleby (replacing the touted return of
> Rolando Villazon) sings a mellifluous Don Ottavio, excelling vocally,
> acting well and contributing solidly to all his scenes.  His legato in
> Dalla sua pace was ravishing and he mostly handled the coloratura
> challenges of Il mio Tesoro with aplomb.  I am especially happy to report
> this because his Belmonte in "Abduction from the Seraglio" last spring was
> not one of his finer outings.
> Adam Plachetka made his strongest Met impression to date as Leporello
> (earlier Schaunard and Belcore).  Tall and commanding, though his voice is
> less so, he played well off Keenlyside and brought dignity and humor to his
> portrayal.  His Catalogue aria was not of the vocally stentorian variety,
> but was sly and crafty in its way with the text.  Matthew Rose offered a
> Masetto of much more sonorous substance than one often gets in this role.
> Kwangchul Youn was a steely and spectral Commendatore.
> Less happy news from the women.  Hibla Gerzmava presents a big-voiced, but
> slightly unwieldy, Donna Anna.   under pressure, her tone turns a tad
> shrill.  Malin Bystrom started off sounded tight and constricted as Donna
> Elvira.  Her sound opened up as the night progressed and by the time of Mi
> Tradi she had hit her stride and offered a decent account of the aria. Both
> lead women were solid actresses contributing to the cohesiveness of the
> whole.  Serena Malfi's mezzo Zerlina was of the earthy, anti-soubrette
> variety and while her tone was not particularly beautiful, she scored
> points for sincerity and for avoiding cloying cuteness.
> Fabio Luisi - we may miss him soon as he reduces his official Met role in
> the lead up to the Nezet-Seguin era - led the orchestra in a lithe and
> nimble account of the score, leaning on drama when needed but not
> excessively.
> Overall, this was one of those nights at the Met where the whole was
> pleasingly greater than the sum of the parts.
> Russ Volpe
> Russell G. Volpe, DPM
> Professor
> Department of Orthopedics and Pediatrics
> New York College of Podiatric Medicine
> Foot Clinics of New York
> 53-55 East 124th Street
> New York, New York 10035
> phone: 212 410 8129
> fax; 212 410 8440
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Discussion of opera and related issues [mailto:[log in to unmask]
> BCCLS.ORG] On Behalf Of Garry F Bell
> Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 8:15 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Don Giovanni at the Met
> Hi
> Any comments on last night's Don Giovanni?
> Garry
> Auckland - New Zealand
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