3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Mozart: Don Giovanni -- Glyndebourne [DVD]   (DVD)
I know Don Giovanni inside out and have seen many live performances of it. In terms of singing and orchestral playing, this 1995 Glyndebourne live version is very good. The tempi are well judged and work well with the drama. The Brass and Woodwinds are particularly clear and rasping (in a good way!) in the dramatic moments. One of my favourite parts (viva la liberta at the end of act I) was superbly sung but oddly directed with the Don cavorting his hips whilst lying on the floor ... I much prefer directions where the trio face the audience away from the stage crowd, as this was in my view a veiled political message in Mozart's time. The final scenes are effective and nearly creepy, bordering on Shakespearean tragicomedy ... unfortunately though the Don's descent into hell was rather weird at the end. It might have been the camera angle and the microphones setting but the his scream at the end seemed more like a pantomime shout than the blood curdling scream that the likes of Thomas Allen can produce (esp. the one he did for Haitink on CD!). Commendatore is superb in all scenes but particularly in his final appearance, as is Leporello. I have another DVD of this opera produced at Aix-en-Provence, which is much more to my taste, and although the scenery in that one is even more sparse it does concentrate your mind on the more subtle acting and nuances of the ensemble numbers.