News Story

To be clear – we mean the Mozart opera coming to the International Festival, not the infamous seducer; he’s trouble for sure. Here’s our list of the top five reasons to come and see Don Giovanni, whether you’re an opera connoisseur or would like to try something new.

1. Visionary conductor and production director Iván Fischer

Following his acclaimed reimagining of The Marriage of Figaro in 2015, Iván Fischer returns to conduct and direct his own daring personal vision of Don Giovanni. Let’s hear from the maestro himself in the video below as he shares his views on the opera.

2. Baritone Christopher Maltman as Don Giovanni

Renowned for his portrayal of Don Giovanni, baritone Christopher Maltman has a track record of seducing audiences too (resulting in some serious fan mail and curious gossip he jokes about). His career breakthrough came with winning the Lieder prize at the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in 1997 and led him to perform at the world’s greatest opera houses and festivals. He’s perfected his role of the arch-seducer through countless performances, even including an opera film adaptation,

3. Beautiful music played by the Budapest Festival Orchestra

Budapest Festival Orchestra was founded by Iván Fischer in 1983. Over the last 34 years, this exciting musical partnership has been delivering intense and characterful performances matched by Fischer’s distinctively daring insights. Expect to be mesmerised as the exquisite players bring Mozart’s masterpiece to life.

When it comes to the composition itself, the legend has it that Mozart was finishing Don Giovanni until the very last minute (allegedly it took him just three hours to write the Overture), handing the completed score to the orchestra just moments before the concert begun at the Teatro di Praga in 1781. This opera contains some of Mozart’s most irresistible music – from Leporello’s darkly witty catalogue aria, to the seductive duet ‘Là ci darem la mano’. What is Iván Fischer’s favourite musical moment of the opera? Watch this video to find out.

4. One hell of a story

There is a lot going on in Don Giovanni. Mozart’s masterful operatic dissection of lust and betrayal swings restlessly between comedy and tragedy to startling effect. You’ll get plenty of intrigue, suspense, erotic and infernal themes, and some pretty scandalous behaviour from the infamous seducer. Oh, and a big dose of flirtation – Classic FM placed aria ‘Batti, batti o bel Maestro’ from Mozart’s opera at #11 on their list of the 50 sexiest classical music pieces of all time. They also have a very handy beginner’s guide to Don Giovanni if you’d like a plot recap. Below, here’s our take on one of the plotlines as part of our social media #EdintFestEmojis challenges.

5. Innovative staging

As Fischer presents the world of the opera as seen through the eyes of the Don, you’ll see the stage transformed into a dangerous, erotic place, empty of scenary or props, where bodies form set pieces. A chorus of young actors become doors, windows, beds, tables, or a sinister means of death…

Photo credits:
Don Giovanni © Müpa Budapest | Zsuzsanna Pető
Christopher Maltman © Pia Clodi
Don Giovanni © Müpa Budapest | Zsuzsanna Pető