Don Giovanni at the Coliseum

  • Opera & Dance
Don Giovanni at the Coliseum


Thu, 06/10/2016 - 14:36


Christopher Purves as Mozart’s Don Giovanni in ENO’s new production
Christopher Purves as Mozart’s Don Giovanni in ENO’s new production. Photo: Robert Workman
06 October, 2016

A SCINTILIATING new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and a strong revival of Puccini’s Tosca are launching English National Opera’s autumn season.

Richard Jones’s new staging of Don Giovanni is unlike anything you’ve seen – or likely to see. The action is relocated to modern times. The setting is a hotel corridor with multiple doors and walls that are moved about to create rooms.

Most singers are dressed in various shades of black and white except for Mary Bevan’s lovely Zerlina who is all in wedding-white.

Bass-baritone Christopher Purves is excellent as the dastardly Don, a serial philanderer of Olympian capabilities.

The opening sets the opera’s tone: a succession of women traipse into a hotel room for a quickie with the Don. What’s his secret? Seemingly, powerful sexual magnetism that women find unable to resist – and he’s got an insatiable sexual appetite to go with it. Entertainingly, the Commendatore is shown to be a BDSM philanderer as well before his daughter is ravishment by the Don.

Singing is of a high standard throughout and conductor Mark Wigglesworth does an excellent job in delivering Mozart’s score.

A second revival of ENO’s 2010 production of Puccini’s Tosca bene­fits from much tight­ening-up by revival director Donna Stirrup. American soprano Keri Alkema is awesome in the title role, more than a match for Craig Colclough’s sneering Scarpia. Welsh tenor Gwyn Hugh is a striking Cavaradossi. Italian verismo specialist Oleg Caetani conducts with aplomb. 

• Don Giovanni: seven more performances till November 26; Tosca: 12 more performances till December 3, Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, WC2, 020 7845 9300,

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