Salzburg’s Don Giovanni falls flat

Salzburg’s Don Giovanni falls flat


norman lebrecht

July 28, 2021

Romeo Castellucci’s production of Mozart’s oepra opens with a car landing with a thump on stage, followed by the commendatore’s wheelchair and a grand piano. Some basketballs. And two copulating photocopiers.

Remember Richard Jones’s machine-strewn Ring at Covent Garden? Some directors are clean out of ideas.

The rest of the show has critics reaching for noncommital verdicts. ‘Eludes a clear judgment’ says Kurier. ‘A horny man’s death,’ observes Der Standard. ‘Not shocking’ – Wiener Zeitung. Why is there a rat on the ramp? wonders Der Tagespiegel.



  • phf655 says:

    Opera 2021 style. Not a word above about the singers or conductor.

  • Patrick says:

    Worst Don Giovanni we ever saw (though musically strong) was at Glyndebourne. Dining on a dead horse, huge manure pile. Disgusting.

  • Soizbuaga says:

    Absolutely beautiful production. Really far from Regietheater but still so creative, rich in clear (not always though) symbolic underlining the protagonists’ traits like titular villain’s lack of moral values.

    Orchestra and singers did really well, as obviously did Currentzis.

    • Tamino says:

      Currentzis is boring.
      Fast tempi faster.
      Slow tempi slower.
      Cocain glazed stare and mentl masturbation „I’m so hot“ like gesturing. Naked Emperor. Yawn.

  • M McAlpine says:

    Never know why people pay to see this tripe. Just turn the record player on. Far better.

  • MJA says:

    This from a blogger who claims he likes to report good news. Well, if this ‘Don Giovanni’ anything like Castellucci’s recent ‘Salome’ in Salzburg, it will be a beautiful, highly original revelation laden with unforgettable images.

  • sam says:

    Imagine if every Hollywood studio decided 50 years ago that they all would finance making only the same film over and over again, year after year, annual remakes of The Sound of Music, eventually you’d get a Maria von Trapp as a basketball player and a Captain von Trapp in a wheelchair…

    That is the state of opera.

    And that is why we go to the opera, to see what freaky outlandish reinterpretation they’ve come up with.

    • Tamino says:

      well, we go to opera, because the music is so damn good, timelessly. (unlike ‘Sound of music’ Kitsch.)
      Thankfully one can always close his eyes if the staging is again in the way of artistic excellence.