MKFM Review: Welsh National Opera performance of Don Giovanni

Jodie Erica from MKFM goes to MK Theatre to watch an opera for the first time and here is her review...

In my 25 years of life so far, I can finally say I have seen an opera performance. As a huge RnB/Soul fan and singer myself, I have never really considered listening or watching opera. I felt as though I may not understand opera, but this has changed since watching Don Giovanni. 

I learned that the story of this opera act is based upon a male called Don Giovanni, his greatest pleasures in life were money but most of all women. Don Giovanni's servant Leporello created a catalogue of his master's conquests, in this book he would record all of the women from different countries that he had seduced. It all starts to go sour for Don Giovanni, after attempting to seduce Donna Anna, he fails and ends up murdering her much-loved father, the Commendatore, who ran to her rescue after she yells for help. Don Giovanni is later chased by his victims who seek revenge and avenge. The next conquests of Don Giovanni didn't all go to plan and he finds himself in a rut with hell itself, it seems that hell found him before his enemies did! After refusing the chance to repent his sins he is dragged to hell in front of Leporello, who did once warn his master of his ways. The final act ends with a song and quote "Wicked people will always come to a bad end and sinners must die the same way they have lived".

The opera act is accompanied by an orchestra that filled the theatre with the sounds of Mozart. Mozart is a familiar name to me but this is the first time I have officially heard any of his compositions, it was all beautiful and perfectly played by each instrumentalist. I could see the passion and focus in the conductor's facial expressions and body language, it was truly captivating to see and to hear it all right in front of me. The music performed influenced my emotions just as much as the stage characters did. 

I was blown away by the singing, the vocal control was absolutely incredible from each and every individual character on the stage. I felt all the emotions from Donna Elvira played by Meeta Raval, her character is so relatable even for the modern times of today, falling in love and being deceived, left heartbroken by a man whose only one true love is the game, sounds like a familiar ex to a lot of us right?...

I felt the grief that was portrayed by Donna Anna played by Linda Richardson, the sadness in her face and her voice made me feel sad and utterly broken for her as she grieves the loss of her murdered father, this leads me on to Don Giovanni himself played by Duncan Rock, I felt the hate for his character and not easily swayed by his false promises and sweet words. I love how invested I got and that I felt such emotions throughout, that is how I know that I enjoyed it. 

The Theatre itself seemed very busy, I noticed that there were many lovers of opera who were also engrossed, and, not so much looking at the translations like I was. The audience cheered and clapped at the end and boo'd and laughed when Don Giovanni bowed, it was great fun. 

For someone who has never seen an opera before, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would definitely watch more!

Congratulations to each and every person involved in Don Giovanni, it was spectacular.  


Book tickets here.

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