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Mozart Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni Nicholas Garrett
Commendatore Simon Wilding
Donna Anna Ana James
Donna Elvira Laura Mitchell
Don Ottavio Thomas Walker
Leporello Matthew Hargreaves
Zerlina Claire Wild
Masetto Robert Winslade Anderson

Conductor Robert Dean
Director Stephen Barlow
Designer Yannis Thavoris
Lighting Designer Colin Grenfell
Choreographer Sam Spencer-Lane

Opera Holland Park, July 4 at 2pm

A full house on a lovely summer afternoon should convince OHP that Sunday matinées should be here to stay in their schedules; more convenient for many opera fans.

The reviews * are generally favourable, especially for the set in which Yannis Thavoris "ingeniously complements the handsomely restored fa├žade and leaded windows of the original house with dark wood panelled surfaces, quickly spiriting us from mansion to hotel to tavern."

Stephen Barlow's direction is likewise inventive, the team combining to make this production, now well settled down, a viable alternative to Glyndebourne's starrier-cast alternative. It seems to have tightened up since the premiere and we were very happy with Robert Dean's pacing and his responsive orchestra.

We would perhaps have preferred a litte more allure and menace than Nicholas Garrett spreads around him, and I do like to see the Stone Guest nod his invitation acceptance...

Pol****** Corr******* makes it anathema to question OHP's casting of Masetto, who does well enough; the same issue is treated head on by RADA which, in their superb current Shakespeare season, points out that racism was rife in Queen Elizabeth I's England, which probably does much to explain the insecurity and vulnerability of Shakespeare's Othello.

Catch Don Giovanni if you can, and don't miss OHP's first revival, their triumphant 2003 Fidelio, running in tandem with the Don.

Peter Grahame Woolf

Photo: Fritz Curzon, OHP: The Commendatore arrives for dinner

* The Opera Critic:collected reviews