Festival theatre, Edinburgh
Fischer is a conductor with great things to say about Mozart but this staged concert performance fails to do justice to the opera’s drama, white-painted extras notwithstanding
When is a performance of an opera in the theatre not a production? The answer, at least according to conductor Ivan Fischer, is when it is a “staged concert”. Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra previously presented his singular vision of the Marriage of Figaro in Edinburgh two years ago. I recall this as being full of energy and humour, with the orchestra literally at the front and centre of the stage, and at the very heart of the drama.
Fischer and his orchestra return to Edinburgh with another Mozart/Da Ponte opera with Fischer once again in the dual role of conductor and director. Don Giovanni is a rather different prospect from Figaro – here there are few opportunities for humour and Fischer’s approach is more conventional and arguably less successful. On this occasion the orchestra is back in the pit (albeit raised to auditorium level) while the action unfolds on an all-black stage, empty but for a couple of raised platforms.
Source: Opera News from the UK Guardian