MusicWeb International's Worldwide Concert and Opera Reviews

 Clicking Google advertisements helps keep MusicWeb subscription-free.

281,202 performance reviews were read in October.

Other Links


Editorial Board

  • Editor - Bill Kenny
  • London Editor-Melanie Eskenazi
  • Founder - Len Mullenger

Google Site Search


Internet MusicWeb




Mozart,  Don Giovanni: Soloists, Orchestra and Chorus Opera National du Capitole. Conductor: Günter Neuhold. Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse 11.11.2007 (JMI)


Production by Capitole de Toulouse.

Director: Brigitte Jacques-Wajeman.

Sets and Costumes: Emmanuel Peduzzi.

Lighting: Jean Kalman.



Don Giovanni: Ildebrando D’Arcangelo.
Leporello: David Bizic.
Donna Anna: Tamar Iveri.
Donna Elvira: Barbara Haveman.
Don Ottavio: Topi Lehtipuu.
Zerlina: Valentina Kutzarova.
Commendatore: Gudjon Oskarsson.
Masetto: Paul Gay.

This Don Giovanni is a revival of the production premiered in this same theatre in January of 2005 with when Ludovic Tézier sang Giovanni. The production was by Brigitte Jacques-Wajeman's  debut in opera, though she was  well known in France as a theatre director. Her approach to Don Giovanni didn’t convince me then and the  same thing happened this time. What the message is from of a setting consisting entirely  of large trees (eleven altogether) was,  and still is,   a mystery to me and I  prefer not to look for any kind of Freudian interpretation in it. At the beginning, we have the trees complete, later they are lifted to show their roots until they trees (fortunately)  disappear entirely  in the final scene. It doesn’t matter whether we are celebrating Zerlina and Masetto's wedding, or if we are at Don Giovanni’s mansion: they are always just the trees. The costumes are a mixture of styles and times, which doesn’t help to understand what Mrs. Jacques-Wajeman means at all. Reading the program, I found that her first opera work seems also to have been her last so far, which it is not terribly difficult to understand although  if I remember correctly, I think that in this revival she has emphasized the Don's macho nature more than previously  which is no bad thing.

In 2005 we had a very poor musical rendering from Daniel Klajner, while this time occasion the musical aspect had improved a lot, under the baton of Günter Neuhold.  This performance reached a high musical level, with suitable tempi and enough lightness and depth to the score, when required. The Orchestre National du Capitole, was outstanding, also greatly improved from previously. Mr. Neuhold offered us the Vienna version, complete  the concluding moral.

Don Giovanni was the Italian Ildebrando D' Arcangelo, whom I found much improved in strictly vocal terms. His interpretation emphasizes the cheeky aspect of the character, dressed as true latin lover. D’Arcangelo's  biggest problem used to be  vocal projection, but that is much better now. He gave an outstanding rendering of Don Giovanni, worth of any top opera house.

The young Israeli David Bizic, hardly 30 years old, made  a good impression as Leporello, although he has to mature the role rather more. I suspect that  he would face problems in a larger house, since the voice is not too big as yet, but nonetheless he shows great promise.

Georgian soprano Tamar Iveri is a regular singer in Toulouse and always offers an appealing voice, particularly in the range. There are a couple of problems for her as  Donna Anna: her coloratura is not outstanding and her vocal acuity  is not too bright either. Altogether she  is probably at her best  in other repertoire than Mozart.  Something similar also happens with Dutch soprano Barbara Haveman in the part of Donna Elvira. This  was better than in her last Micaela in this theater, but she also becomes somewhat uncontrolled in the higher register. Her first act was the best, whereas in “Mi Tradí”  she was not too convincing.

Topi Lehtipuu was an outstanding Don Ottavio, easy on  stage and very expressive. His delivery of  “Dalla Sua Pace” was very good, while “Il Mio Tesoro” didn’t reach same quality. Even so he  is a very interesting a Mozart tenor. Gudjon Oskarsson  made an oustanding Commendatore and Paul Gay was a reliable Masetto.

The ticket office showed  a “Complet” sign. In the last 25 years Mozart has become a real opera top seller pretty well everywhere with Zauberflöte as the opera most world's most performed and Don Giovanni not far behind it. As might be expected  the biggest applause went to  Maestro Neuhold and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo. 

José M. Irurzun


Picture © Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse

Back to Top                                                    Cumulative Index Page