A wonderful new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni recently opened at the Bucharest National Opera (ONB), directed by Anda Tabacaru Hogea. Do go and see it, people! It is on again next Sunday evening and I intend to go again. I enjoyed it more than the last production I saw, which was the Coliseum in London two and a half years ago, although the singers from the English National Opera (ENO) had good voices. This production does not glamorise the Don, serial rapist, paedophile and psychopath as he is, but the ENO production was the bleak, un-Mozartian story of a London council estate sex criminal.
Horia Sandu as the Commendatore and Maria Jinga’s wonderfully sexy Zerlina stood out for me, as did Daniel Pop’s Don. There were also some ballet sequences which worked very well. I was told Cătălin Ţoropoc, who played Leporello, was singing for the first time in Bucharest. He was good.
A woman I chatted to in the interval thought the cast too young to have enough life experience to act their parts which seemed to me an odd criticism. I thought they acted very well because they were young. Unlike my first evening at the opera in Bucharest Bellini’s Norma, where the vestal virgins were all over fifty, something which hugely amused the young girl I took to see it. Looking back now I wonder if vestal virgins had an age limit and don’t see why they should but a youngish virile Don is a good thing. This one has a rock star quality.
The next performance of Don Giovanni is on Sunday, February 24, followed by two shows in March, on Saturday 16 and Thursday 28. The next show starts at 18:30, tickets cost from RON 30 to RON 65. Buy them online here. Enjoy the famous bit from Mozart’s Don Giovanni below.
By Paul Wood, Guest Writer
Paul Wood is the owner of Apple Search, the executive search company, and is writing a book about Bucharest where he has lived since 1998. His personal blog is here.