At the Toulon Opera, Don Giovanni in his big bed

Created at the Opéra de Nice in January 2019, the production produced by Daniel Benoin and presented until October 14 at the Opéra de Toulon takes place for the most part on a huge bed occupying most of the stage. In a large interior with walls decorated with a few paintings taken from scenes from Don Juan, Jean-Pierre Laporte’s scenography simply provided for small clearances around this form of imposing floor, with the pianoforte by Iákovos Pappás installed in an alcove on the courtyard side. The play of the actors is of an appreciable density: one throws oneself on the bed, one rolls about it, one dances there lying down at the end of the first act, Don Giovanni often rests there and rests there … and inevitably one takes sometimes the feet in the giant sheet! Don Giovanni, wearing a mask, is immediately stretched out full length, before the sheet covers his body, this same image being proposed at the conclusion of the book… Don Giovanni therefore dies in his bed! Nathalie Bérard-Benoin’s refined classic wigs and costumes anchor the visual achievement in the XVIIIe century, while the videos designed by Paulo Corréia and projected on the stage box and the tulle at the front bring a bit of modernity.

Don Giovanni at the Toulon Opera

© Frédéric Stéphan

The lying station is not vocally favorable to the first interventions of Guido Loconsolo in the title role, which are difficult to hear. What follows only partially convinces us, the song is more than correct but the timbre does not ideally correspond to that of the Don, lacking in nobility in the grain and sometimes in brilliance (a ” As long as they have wine With very dull treble). The arias and recitatives are of inconsistent quality, with some passages of good depth and well supported but others more prosaic. We prefer the Leporello by Pablo Ruiz, pleasantly projected and with a good felling, even if the two ends of the range are less sonorous.

After a small hitch at the start of his first aria ” From its peace », Alasdair Kent then reserves us real moments of happiness in Don Ottavio. The Australian is indeed typically in the category of the Mozartian tenor, a light volume but very musical, clear of articulation, bringing variations of nuances for the covers and a long breath allowing him to unfold with elegance his sentences. If Ramaz Chikviladze’s Le Commendatore fulfills its function with a sufficiently powerful and sepulchral instrument, Daniel Giulianini’s Masetto makes a problematic entry on stage, seeking the right key as well as the right rhythm. The problems are solved noticeably later, with however small persistent variations in rhythm, the singer composing a peasant Masetto all in one piece (” I understand, Mr. yes ! »).

Don Giovanni at the Toulon Opera

© Frédéric Stéphan

The female cast brings us the best satisfactions, with Donna Anna by Anaïs Constans in the lead, a voice of a very full scope, a seductive tone and a constant accuracy of tone and playing. The Donna Elvira by Marie-Ève ​​Munger is shows at times supercharged with regard to the theatrical gesture, like his furiously vindictive recitatives towards Don Giovanni, threatening him, panting, with a knife to his throat. The voice is also expressive, a little less rounded than that of his colleague. Without demerit, the Zerlina of Khatouna Gadelia is located a little notch below, not delivering the usual vocal seduction that one expects for this role. For example during ” Beat, beat, or handsome Masetto », It is concentrated on the formidable difficulties of the air, among other passages of agility and large gaps, while the virtuosity produces a more natural effect by the impeccable solo cello.

See also  On Tuesday, 156 cases of Covid-19 and 11 dead cases / Day were discovered in Latvia

We generally appreciate the musical direction of Jordan de Souza, quite soft during the opening with pleasantly restrained timpani hits. The energy, the contrasts of nuances are present, for a respectful reading of the score and a Toulon Opera Orchestra in good shape. The choristers occupy the first boxes on two levels and their small number does not interfere, considering the modesty of their interventions during Mozart’s opera. In conclusion, a beautiful performance, which is however far from filling up with spectators on Tuesday evening.

***11