The photo (top) shows you running and conducting at the same time, is this mobile musical direction?
I am doing some off-stage conducting, which I probably won’t be doing in person on the night. It’s much better than giving a monitor to a singer when there are so many things going on that it’s difficult for them to think about counting. Claire Wild, who is singing Zerlina, has to move from one side of the stage to the other just before singing offstage, for example. It’s much easier to see a person giving you a cue than to look for a little monitor in the dark.
What is your pivotal moment in the score?
It has to be the graveyard scene, Act 2, scene XI, because while things have been starting to go wrong, this is really the beginning of the end. So that’s when it tightens dramatically – once Don Giovanni has invited the statue (of the Commendatore), there’s no return. Musically, it’s the first time we hear the trombones in the opera. It’s not part of a set orchestral number, it’s in the middle of the recitative. It’s quite a shock to hear the Commendatore’s voice with the trombones. Orchestra-wise, it’s an excellent moment.
What are you particularly enjoying in rehearsals at the moment?
Getting the chance to practice (I will be conducting three performances during the run). Once we’re rehearsing on stage, there won’t be much time. It’s good to get the feel of it now.
Don Giovanni opens at Leeds Grand Theatre on Friday 28 September, before touring to The Lowry, Salford Quays, Theatre Royal Newcastle and Theatre Royal Nottingham. For more information, dates and to book tickets, click here.
Interview: Dr Kara McKechnie
Photo (top): Claire Wild (Zerlina) and Anthony Kraus (Assistant Conductor) during studio rehearsals. Credit: Malcolm Johnson
Photo (bottom): Anthony Kraus watches rehearsals. Credit: Malcolm Johnson