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Don Giovanni: A Review By George Fleeton
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Don Giovanni:  Lyric Opera Productions

Review by George Fleeton.

Mozart’s fourteenth opera, the tragic-comedy Don Giovanni (K527), has just had two splendid performances in Dublin, in a Lyric Opera production forcefully directed, and purposefully conducted, by Vivian Coates and Fergus Sheil respectively.

The cast featured four relative newcomers, including Marcella Walsh from Belfast, and four more experienced singers, among whom John Molloy (Leporello) was outstanding in that he invested so much added value to his role, and this was certainly appreciated by a very supportive audience.

As I mentioned in a profile of this particular opera company (see previous entry: Nights at the Opera – in Ireland), the state of opera in production in this country is parlous, to say the least.

Visiting companies, who pass through on tour from Britain (London-based English Touring Opera with four different productions last week in the Grand Opera House; Scottish Opera with Rigoletto in Belfast in mid-June) will always be welcome and their productions generally have measurable qualities. But they don’t give employment or experience to local singers and musicians.

With Opera Fringe, Castleward Opera and Opera Ireland all now left the stage, in harsh recessionary times when public and private funding for this high maintenance art form have been severely cut back, both Lyric Opera Productions and Opera Theatre Company (whose touring production of Don Pasquale was so successful in Downpatrick in February) are notwithstanding planning mixes of new productions and revivals right through to the tail end of 2012.

Lyric Opera’s forthcoming productions are: Verdi’s Il Trovatore in October, Puccini’s La Bohème in February and Mozart’s Così fan Tutte in May 2012, three fabled and fabulous operas which deserve the unreserved support of every opera buff in Ireland, whether virgin or veteran.

Full details on www.lyricoperaproductions.com