The first D minor chords thunder ominously from the orchestra pit, while on the stage, the entrance hall of an elegant hotel appears, symbolic of a place of non-committal encounters. Luxury seeps from every pore of the stairs, galleries and mysterious doors. This is the present residence of Don Giovanni and his servant Leporello. The Don meets couples from high society (Donna Anna and Don Ottavio), he encounters lonely, unhappy women like Donna Elvira and he makes the acquaintance of
the hotel staff such as chambermaid Zerlina. The Commendatore is an impenetrable hotel director, the Devil a barman. In a word, the perfect place for Don Giovanni’s exercises in seduction.
Director Sven-Eric Bechtolf pulls off a brilliant coup with the high aesthetics of his intrigue, a masterful parody of the “everything is possible” of our time - flanked by an ensemble of exquisite vocal talents:
Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, testosterone-charged Latin lover, amounts “with his splendid timbre and his stunningly virile magnetism to what must be an ideal realization of Don Giovanni” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung). Seldom does one see such an insatiable seducer. With his finely balanced voice, Luca Pisaroni as an intellectually bespectacled Leporello is the perfect foil to his master. “The powerful bass of Commendatore Tomasz Konieczny is a true sensation” (Frankfurter Rundschau) and Alessio
Gardini’s Masetto conveys his Mediterranean jealousy with a bewitching bel canto baritone. Meanwhile, the female roles are all realized with elegantly lean voices: Anett Fritsch highly dramatic as Elvira, the Donna Anna of Lenneke Ruitens supple in her vocal line and Valentina Naforniţa “a wonderful Zerlina who radiates strong vocal sensuality” (Opernnetz). Christoph Eschenbach at the rostrum of the Vienna Philharmonic injects the necessary sense of threat into the atmosphere: “Largesymphony blackness climbs out of the pit” (Deutschlandfunk).