‹ Back to What's On Don Giovanni

17 Feb - 23 Mar 2018

Be seduced by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's most infamous antihero
Part of Fatal Passions

Be tantalised by this lively production as Don Giovanni, opera’s most compelling antihero, goes on a quest for hedonistic thrills. As he seduces his way across Europe, bedding 1003 women in Spain alone, the unrepentant Don Giovanni resorts to despicable violence until his infatuated conquests and vengeful victims join forces in a bid for justice.

A fast-unfolding, urgent plot, mixes broad comedy with tense drama. Mozart’s sublimely beautiful, spine-tingling music stands in stark contrast with the cruelty of his deeply ambiguous Lothario. Alessandro Talevi’s eclectic, time-travelling production brings fresh insights to this, Mozart’s darkest, craziest, opera.

Running Time

Approximately 3 hours

Language

Sung in Italian with English titles

Audience Reaction Trailer

The Music

Pre-show Talks

Pre-show talks take place in the Howard Assembly Room and run from 6pm until 6.30pm.

Wed 21 Feb
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Fri 23 Feb
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Thu 1 Mar
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Sat 3 Mar
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What the critics say

Vocally, they [William Dazeley and Alastair Miles] are a fine match...the Opera North orchestra plays thrillingly...

The Guardian (2012) - Full Review ›

Director Alessandro Talevi’s imagination, wit and audacity meant that Don Giovanni was a huge success...enthralling throughout...

Bachtrack (2012) - Full Review ›

Articles

Features

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Don Giovanni: Your Reaction

4 comments

Our time-travelling production of Mozart's Don Giovanni is now open. Read some of what our audiences have been saying on social media so far, and see some production photos.. Read More

Cast
  • Don Giovanni William Dazeley
  • Leporello John Savournin
  • Donna Anna Jennifer Davis
  • Don Ottavio Nicholas Watts
  • Donna Elvira Elizabeth Atherton
  • Zerlina Kathryn Rudge
  • Masetto Ross McInroy
  • Commendatore James Platt
Creative Team
  • Conductor Christoph Altstaedt (except 14, 16, 21, 23 March)
  • Conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren (14, 16, 21, 23 March)
  • Director Alessandro Talevi
  • Set and Costume Designer Madeleine Boyd
  • Lighting Designer Matthew Haskins
  • Choreographer Victoria Newlyn

Click on the venue below to plan your visit.

Leeds Grand Theatre

Find Us

46 New Briggate
Leeds Grand Theatre
LS1 6NZ

Important Information

Box Office: 0844 848 2720 (calls cost 7ppm)

  • To access the Grand Theatre, there are six steps from the street up to the foyer or a wheelchair lift from the Grand Theatre Box Office to the foyer, and then lift access to the rest of the auditorium (excluding the Upper Balcony). Some areas of the auditorium do have steep stairs and may not be suitable for people with limited mobility. Please check with the Box Office. 
  • There are 6 wheelchair spaces: four in the Stalls and two in the Dress Circle.
  • There are accessible toilets at Stalls and Dress Circle levels. 
  • There is an infra-red system in operation for sound amplification. Headsets are available from the Grand Theatre foyer for a £5 refundable deposit. Please ask Box Office staff when booking for advice on the best seats to use this service. 
  • Support dogs are welcome in the auditorium and can be looked after on request. 
  • For refreshments, there are bars at Stalls, Upper Circle and Balcony levels.  
Nearby

Choose from these fantastic pre-theatre dining options and make your experience complete!

The Alchemist

Opera North ticket holders can enjoy 20% off their food bill at The Alchemist. Located on the second floor of Trinity Shopping Centre, The Alchemist offers a fantastic menu and stunning views of Leeds City Centre. Not available Saturdays. 

Download Menu | Book online 

Manahatta

Manahatta is a recently opened bar and kitchen located on Merrion Street, just a minute's walk from Leeds Grand Theatre. Serving a fantastic New York inspired menu made with fresh local produce, guests will receive 20% off their food bill before 6.15pm with proof of ticket. Booking is required. 

Download Menu | Book online

North Bar

Opera North and Howard Assembly Room ticket holders can enjoy 10% off all drinks at New Briggate's finest craft beer hotspot — North Bar, just a stone's throw from Leeds Grand Theatre. 

Find out more 

Veeno

Enjoy 15% off all food and drink at authentic Italian wine bar Veeno (Leeds branch only) on presentation of ticket for an Opera North performance. Excludes Fridays and Saturdays after 5.00pm. 

Download Menu | Book a table 

Veritas Ale & Wine Bar

Enjoy a special pre-opera meal at Veritas Ale & Wine Bar. Just a 5-10 minute walk from Leeds Grand Theatre, choose either two courses for £13.95 (£17.50 with a 175ml house wine) or three courses for £15.95 (£19.50 with a 175ml house wine). Available 5.00-6.30pm. Booking is required.

Download Menu | Book via email or call 0113 242 8094 and quote 'pre-opera menu'

Brasserie Blanc

Sample the fabulous pre-theatre menu at Brasserie Blanc and choose from two courses for £11.95 or three courses for £15.45, with a complimentary glass of fizz for Opera North ticket holders. Located just a 10 minute walk from the Leeds Grand Theatre. Available 12.00-6.30pm, Monday-Saturday. 

Download Menu | Book online or call 0113 220 6060

The Reliance

Just a 5 minute walk from Leeds Grand Theatre, The Reliance bar and dining room offers a fantastic pre-theatre menu. Choose from two courses for £14.45 or three courses for £18.90. Available 5.30-6.30pm, Monday-Saturday.

Download Menu

Salford Quays

Find Us

Pier 8
Salford Quays
M50 3AZ

Important Information

Box office: 0843 208 6000 

There is a passenger drop-off point immediately in front of The Lowry. Secure parking is available in The Lowry Outlet Mall multi-storey car park. There are designated areas for disabled parking on every level. 

The Lowry is accessible by train, tram and bus. http://www.tfgm.com/

From national railway stations, Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria you can travel to The Lowry by Metrolink tram. You can board an Eccles line tram and should alight at Harbour City, or Media City UK for trams which stop there, as this is slightly closer.

More info: http://www.thelowry.com/plan-your-visit/getting-here/

Nottingham

Find Us

Theatre Square
Nottingham
NG1 5ND

Important Information

Box Office: 0115 989 5555

Find access details for Nottingham Theatre Royal

By Car

Follow signs for the city centre and the 'Royal Zone'. Nearest car parks are Talbot Street car park and Crowne Plaza Hotel car park on Wollaton Street.
For maps and information about on-street parking, off-street car parks, park and ride and the blue badge scheme please visit Parking In Nottingham

By Bus

For bus times call Nottingham City Transport on 0115 950 6070, Traveline on 0871 200 2233 or visit www.travelineeastmidlands.co.uk   Find out about our £1 return bus ticket here.

By Tram

 The 'Royal Centre' tram stop is directly outside the venue and runs every 10 minutes until midnight. There are five Park and Ride sites along the route. Visit www.thetram.net or call 0115 942 7777 for full details of the tram route. Find out about our £1 return tram ticket here.

By Rail

Nottingham Station is a 15 minute walk or a short taxi or tram ride from the venue. Call 0845 748 4950 or www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times and fares. 

Nearby

Discover exciting pre-theatre dining options for Nottingham Theatre Royal

Newcastle

Find Us

100 Grey Street
Newcastle
NE1 6BR

Important Information

Box office: 08448 112121

Parking

Free Parking in all City Council multi-storey carparks after 5pm.

The two closest car parks to Theatre Royal are the Oxford Street multi-storey (just behind the Laing) and the Dean Street multi-storey. Click here for more info.

There are two parking spaces for blue badge holders on Shakespeare Street and three on Hood Street. Most parking meters are free to Blue Badge Holders.

Metro

Alight at Monument Metro Station and follow the signs for the Theatre Royal. We are less than one minutes walk from the Metro entrance on Grey Street.

Travel free on the Metro with your theatre ticket (up to two hours before and after the performance) - simply retain your theatre ticket for inspection by Metro Staff.

Train

The Theatre Royal is only ten minutes walk from Newcastle Central Station.

What you say

Comment from Rowan

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Rowan said ago

Thank you for bringing this to Nottingham last night. Singing, acting, orchestra and conducting were superb, particularly William Dazeley's privileged, entitled, self-centred, sinister Don Giovanni, lacking any shred of emotional intelligence (does that remind you of anyone today?). The friendly hissing at the end showed that the audience bought it. The sense of ensemble was strong.

And the production ... that was also superb. Yes there was 'music hall' wit, and edgy innuendo (this is the 21st century). But also emotional torment.The sense of events inevitably running out of control and overwhelming DG. And a whole palate of theatrical devices (the picture frame, the puppets, the time travel, synchronized movement). It all added interest, and surprise, and laugh-out-loud comedy. I don't think you can any longer do an opera as familiar as this in a 'straight' production, or semi-staged. This worked as a whole, total entertainment, the production giving considerable added value. The music is sheer genius, and can easily take it without being overshadowed.

An absolute delight.

Comment from Cynthia Wignall

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Cynthia Wignall said ago

We went to see Don Giovanni last night, an opera that I know very well and have seen many productions.
Much to like especially wonderful singing across the board and as always world class orchestral playing BUT I'm afraid I thought the production very chaotic, at times very silly and pretty unclear though the window/ tiny stage/ picture frame worked quite well much of the time as a focus vehicle - but overused in the end. I'm afraid I just didn't get it.
It made me long for the stripped back simplicity of the semi staged production used so brilliantly in your utterly thrilling Ring Cycle ( which converted me to Wagner)
Looking forward to Salome

Comment from Nicholas Dobson

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Nicholas Dobson said ago

Thoroughly enjoyed the performance and production. Don Giovanni, while clearly a regrettable figure, is certainly an archetype and has his own unhappy place on the broad spectrum of relationships between men and women.

For whatever recent modern movements may wish, certain instincts are hard-wired into the human condition, have been so from time immemorial and are unlikely to change. Giovanni, like all such archetypes makes the wrong choices and his (earthly) punishment will be his isolation loneliness and lack of any (or any profound) emotional engagement.

It would be entirely wrong in my view to see this production as a celebration of Giovanni's approach. To my mind the production struck entirely the right note between the skilful knockabout music-hall of his psychopathically casual usage of women and the darkness and tragic consequences of his actions.

For me, directors should not be seeking to ventilate their own egos in their work (which seems to happen all to often) but to present the essence of the particular work of art. This production entirely worked for me being both entertaining and sombre which I am sure is entirely consistent with Mozart's intention.

Great performances, singing and orchestration all around and a particular round of applause for the lutanist (if that was what he was) who had apparently left by curtain call.

Comment from Patricia

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Patricia said ago

I have seen many performances of Don Giovanni over the years and I loved Opera North’s production seen in Leeds last night. The singing was excellent and I loved the staging, particularly the use of puppets to demonstrate the more graphic aspects of the story line, sex and violence along with power. The themes are of course particularly relevant today. Getting the right balance of humour and horror in a performance is perhaps a question of individual taste. This performance is heavy on humour, which I personally loved. Judging from some of the other more negative comments left on the website some no doubt prefer their Dons darker. Personally I believe Mozart himself would have loved the production, since above all he sought to entertain his audience. Well done Opera North.

Comment from Nick

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Nick said ago

Don Giovanni
I have been asked by an automated email from Opera North whether I enjoyed last night's performance of Don Giovanni. The short answer is that I think it was the most disappointing opera that I have seen in nearly 50 years. There was nothing wrong with the singing, but the direction is dire.
There is great potential to make this opera very topical, because Don Giovanni is a menace to women. We see three types of victim - a casual molestation of somebody else's wife, an abandoned old flame (wife?) being taunted and played with and a simple working girl being abused by having rank pulled over her. Yes, you can read some bedroom farce into it, but I have seen the plot played simply for what it is, without it becoming the driver. In this performance, the director chooses to make the potential for farce the most important thing in the performance. Furthermore, he doesn't seem to trust the audience to survive even three minutes of music without some distracting titillation and amusement. It is a non-stop mixture of Punch and Judy, mixed with Brian Rix. Just occasionally he runs out of ideas and someone has to deliver an aria, such as poor Elvira's declaration of ongoing infatuation in Act 2, but this come hard on the heels of Elvira acting as a puppet in a Punch and Judy show and masturbating on stage. You just cannot take it seriously.
I don't think the director has any clarity at all about what he is trying to do in this production and to crown it all he tries to play lip service to Me-Too ism by altering the date of the denoument to today's date, as if to say "…and this is what happens to sex pests…" in our day and age. Someone even tries to work this idea belatedly into the programme. Well, it is a joke; you cannot play it as a Punch and Judy show and then switch horses in a panic at the end. Dramatic rigour is entirely missing and it was a most disappointing evening.

Opera North response: Dear Nick, Thank you for your e-mail and for taking the time to contact us. We’re happy to hear how you enjoyed the music of Don Giovanni, but are sorry that you did not enjoy the production on this occasion. Thank you for your feedback and comments, which will be passed on to the relevant people internally. We are always pleased to hear what audience members think of different productions and we do use this to inform our future planning.

We hope to welcome you back to another Opera North performance soon, that you will find more enjoyable.

With best wishes,
Opera North

Comment from Bob

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Bob said ago

Well the Don is always an event and there is so much to love in any half way decent production: this was more than that, mainly because of the quality of singing and acting from the performers - Leporello, Donna Anna and Donna Elvira leading an outstanding cast.

We felt that their performances were not enhanced by a production that seemed rather gimmick-ridden: the ideas behind the gimmicks were obvious enough but they did little to enhance the emotional impact of the work nor to bring out the humour (which is intrinsic and doesn't need crutches.) It also seemed to handicap the Don himself who, despite his beautiful voice, seemed to lack the sense of driven power the role demands

We also felt that the orchestra was a bit below its usual wonderful standard - the overture in particular seemed lacklustre.

OperaNorth response: We're glad that you enjoyed the performances and we really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts on the production. We look forward to welcoming you again in the future. Thanks

Comment from Margaret Garvey

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Margaret Garvey said ago

Singing was sublime Nothing but praise for singers and orchestra.
The era change was an unnecessary distraction.
Puppets worked once but added nothing to the performance.
The production was confused and most of all cheapened the plight of Don Giovannis victims.
The final scene was unbelievable
Heaven is Up, Hell is Down.

Opera North response: We're glad that you enjoyed the singers and the orchestra and thank you for your feedback on the production.

Leave a comment

Act I

Leporello is waiting for his master, Don Giovanni, who is inside the house of the Commendatore, intent on seducing his daughter, Donna Anna. There are sounds of a struggle; Donna Anna and a masked Don Giovanni appear. The Commendatore is woken by the commotion and is killed as he fights with Don Giovanni. The murderer escapes. Anna and her betrothed, Don Ottavio, swear to avenge her father’s death.

Giovanni encounters Donna Elvira, whom he has previously seduced and promised to marry. She has travelled far in pursuit of him. Giovanni slips away, leaving Leporello behind to recount his master’s sexual exploits.

Giovanni comes across a group of villagers celebrating the wedding of Zerlina and Masetto. Taking an immediate fancy to the bride, Giovanni orders Leporello to get the groom and his guests safely out of the way by taking them to his house to be entertained. Giovanni is making good progress with Zerlina when Elvira interrupts him. She persuades the girl not to succumb.

Anna and Ottavio encounter Giovanni but fail to recognize him. He tries to convince them that Elvira, who has returned to denounce him, is insane. As he leaves, Anna realizes the identity of her assailant and her father’s murderer.

Giovanni is still determined to seduce Zerlina, and orders big celebrations at his house. During the festivities, three masked guests appear: Ottavio, Anna and Elvira, who have come to confront their enemy. As the guests dance, Giovanni whirls Zerlina away. Her cries for help are heard from outside the room. The three maskers reveal themselves and publicly denounce Don Giovanni. 

Act II

Fed up with the life he is forced to lead, Leporello is about to quit Don Giovanni’s service; but a bribe persuades him to stay. Giovanni has set his sights on Donna Elvira’s maid and, to assist his intentions, he makes Leporello swap clothes with him. When Elvira herself appears at her window, he uses the disguised Leporello as a decoy to lure her away. Giovanni’s serenade is interrupted by Masetto, who is out seeking his blood. Pretending to be Leporello, he beats him up. The battered Masetto is comforted by Zerlina.

Leporello is trying to lose Elvira in the darkened streets. Mistaken by everyone for Giovanni, Leporello confesses to the deception, to the stunned amazement of all. A wretched Elvira is forced to admit to herself that she still loves Giovanni, despite his misdeeds.

Giovanni and Leporello meet in a graveyard where the Commendatore is buried. They are interrupted by the sound of the dead man’s voice. Defiantly, Giovanni asks the statue of the Commendatore to come dine with him. The statue accepts.

Ottavio tries to persuade Anna to marry him soon, but she is unable to return his love while she is still in mourning for her murdered father.

Giovanni is having supper when Elvira arrives, begging him to repent. He rejects her entreaties and she storms out. She is heard to scream, and Leporello goes to investigate. He sees the statue of Commendatore, who has accepted Giovanni’s invitation to dinner.

The Commendatore tells his host that his time on earth is almost up and urges him to repent. Giovanni refuses, and the Commendatore leaves him to face his damnation.

It is left for a terrifed Leporello to tell the others what has occurred.