Arts & Entertainment

REVIEW: Don Giovanni

Photo: Georges Antoni

Mozart’s classic opera Don Giovanni takes on added resonance in the wake of the Me Too movement. Don Giovanni translated into Spanish means Don Juan. The libretto tells the timeless tale of a licentious lord who seduces, entraps and manhandles a host of women.

This season’s production of Mozart’s masterpiece casts the Italian Baritone Luca Micheletti in the role of the ignoble nobleman. Micheletti is a Renaissance man: an accomplished actor who holds a PhD in Italian literature. His performance is dark, dangerous and menacing.

His offsider and manservant Leporello is played by the Australian Bass Baritone Shane Lowrencev. His rendition of the Cataogue aria midway through the first act brings comic relief to a particularly sombre night. The audience roared as Lowrencev tallied Don Giovanni’s indescretions, “In Germany two hundred and thirty; One hundred in France, in Turkey ninety-one; But in Spain already one thousand and three.”

Three Australian Sopranos Eleanor Lyons (Donna Anna) Jane Ede (Donna Elvira) and Anna Dowsley (Zerlina) are delightful in their roles as victims of Don Giovanni’s advances.

Don Giovanni is one of Mozart’s finest works. It serves as eloquent reminder that prominent men have used their power and social position to take advantage of women long before Harvey Weinstein ever entered a New York City courthouse to face charges of rape.

Until Feb 27. Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney. $48-$369+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.opera.org.au