Alternate Cast of Don Giovanni at Seattle Opera
January 24, 2007
* Notes *
The alternate cast of Seattle Opera's current Don Giovanni production is well worth seeing. Their final performance is this Friday, but they also sang on January 14th and 21st. Morgan Smith had a very different characterization of the title role than Mariusz Kwiecien. Smith seemed less dangerous and more athletic. His voice is light, and his timing was off at times. Franzita Whelan (Donna Anna) was a bit quiet and shrill. Dana Beth Miller was the perfect scorned woman as Donna Elvira, her voice had good volume. Patrick Miller (Don Ottavio) had some creaky high notes. Brian Kontes (Leporello) had good diction, but something of a gritty quality to his voice. Overall, this cast seemed more engaged with one another, and was more consistent.
* Tattling *
The audience was much more subdued at the Sunday matinee after the opening. I had been expecting a kerfuffle since Seattle's team was in an NFL playoff game that day. Thankfully, the game was lost before the opera began, so audience members were not tempted to look up the scores on their mobile devices during the performance.
This time, again, the person with the seat adjacent to my standing place had her coat over the railing, but she moved graciously moved it without being asked and without any fuss. However, an usher did aggress my companion during the overture, handing her a program for no apparent reason and speaking during the music.
During Act II, a child, sitting in the lap of a woman, kept asking what was being sung. They were in the back of the middle of the orchestra, and apparently she was too young to read.