Don Giovanni by English Touring Opera in Cambridge - it’s enough to turn any girl’s head

Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni - Credit: Archant

English Touring Opera at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, April 30. Review of Mozart’s Don Giovanni by ANGELA SINGER.

Since his life was so tragic, because of its brevity and the poverty he suffered, it is easy to forget that Mozart’s work is actually very funny.

As well as music to die for (and Mozart did die for it), English Touring Opera, as ever, presents a piece of theatre that is engaging and amusing in every note.

The set is stark, we usually imagine these characters in opulence rather than in tunnels and cellars but it denotes the deception which is carried on through the piece and the constant atmosphere of menace. After all, a don like Giovanni is dangerous.

This production has a wonderful togetherness so that the audience really enters this strange world where Don Giovanni actually believes that it is his duty to share his love among all women and that to be faithful to one would be to let down all the others.

The women are all such individual characters, not just beautiful voices, that we are on the edge of our seats (also because they have beautiful voices).

All three female principals are mesmerising, Gillian Ramm as Donna Anna, the woman who says no, Ania Jeruc as Donna Elvira, who is dignified above all things – but persuaded against her better judgement all the same that Don Giovanni does still loves her - and the cheeky bride Zerlina, sung by Lucy Hall with brilliance and bounce.

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Nicholas Lester is a fine Don Giovanni, you can well see how the girls would suspend disbelief to keep having him serenade them – and Matthew Stiff’s comic Leporello is an absolute joy. There is nothing stuffy about opera –at this supreme level of skill and artistry, yet made such a delight. It’s a shame to see it only once.

Don Giovanni will be performed again by ETO at Cambridge Arts Theatre on Saturday, April 30, Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride is on Friday, April 29.