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October 21, 2006
Don Giovanni Swept into Hell - Updated

Ah, here's the stuff! Someone has uploaded the chilling Commandatore scene of from the 2000 Metropolitan performance of Don Giovanni, with Bryn Terfel as Giovanni, the wonderful Ferruccio Furlanetto as Leporello and Sergei Koptchak as the Commandatore.

Some might be familiar with this scene as it was depicted in Milos Foreman's film, Amadeus. This is the part wherein the evil and unrepentant rakehell/rapist/murderer Don Giovanni, having flippantly invited the ghostly statue of the Commandatore (whom he had killed in the opening scene, after trying to rape his daughter) to sup, finds the statue has accepted. The chilling being is an entity Giovanni can neither charm nor best, and it challenges Don Giovanni to face up to his life, repent of his sins and embrace his last chance for salvation.

I don't know how the good Captain feels about embedding stuff from youtube, so the link is here.

Don Giovanni is wearing a large cross recently bestowed upon him by the foolishly besotted Donna Elvira who, also worried for his soul, had interrupted his gargantuan meal to plead her case. He repays Elvira for her love and concern by attempting to force himself upon her - on the dining table - before Leporello rescues her and escorts her away. Thence comes the Commandatore. Leporello cowers, the Commandatore makes a non-negotiable offer and Don Giovanni, after his initial shock at seeing his victim come forth a terrifying a supernatural spectre, proceeds to mock the being, his offer, the notion of salvation, and so forth.

Then, of course, he gets sucked down into hell. Terfel is wonderfully cold, imperious and intense.

Some prefer more post-modern, less literal adaptations. I've seen a few, and was unimpressed with a blue-jeans clad Giovanni eating McDonalds before a hungry Leporello. I rather like this tradition depiction - the sets by Franco Zeffereli are terrific and so are the costumes. Enjoy...for as long as the thing is up, anyway!

Update: Someone has just posted a less intense moment from Don Giovanni; his attempted seduction of the new bride Zerlina, as Terfel and Hei-Yung Hong sing La Ci Darem La Mano.

And because it is one of the best parts of this production, you have to check out Ferruccio Furlanetto singingLeporello's Catalogue Aria to a dismayed Donna Elvira - enumerating and expounding on his master's many sexual conquests, (In Spain, 1003!) while an amused Don Giovanni listens in. It's delicious, and while Furlanetto barks some of it, he's still great!

Crossposted at The Anchoress Online.

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Posted by Anchoress at October 21, 2006 3:09 PM

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