* Notes *
The Michael Grandage production of Don Giovanni (Act II pictured left, photograph by Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera) is currently having a first revival at the Metropolitan Opera. The performance last Saturday was good, but not outstanding. Edward Gardner conducted a lively and speedy orchestra. Raymond Aceto could have sounded more commanding as the Commendatore. Ekaterina Siurina's voice is creamy and sweet, and seemed perfectly fine for Zerlina. Emma Bell's Donna Elvira was slightly unhinged, but never out of control. Erwin Schrott was an amusingly silly Leporello.
Charles Castronovo (Don Ottavio) has a dark warmth to his voice, but he struggled with some of the high notes. Susanna Phillips was promising as Donna Anna, her voice is strong, but has a nice bell-like quality. Ildar Abdrazakov, on the other hand, lacked brightness in "Fin ch'han dal vino." It seemed like the role was just a bit high for Abdrazakov, but he projected well for "Deh vieni alla finestra."
The production dates from last year, yet was not particularly fresh or inventive. The large set is monolithic and rumbles when moved. The handling of Don Giovanni's descent is certainly the most exciting visual moment, as it uses real fire.
* Tattling *
At least one cellular phone was heard in the Family Circle during Act I.