Pros: A wonderfully approachable way of experiencing opera; a fast-paced show with engaging performances and great singing.
Cons: The seating was too low and made it difficult to see any action on the floor. The projection was also unclear at times because of a big stain on the sheet.
Giovanni is Silent Opera’s version of Mozart’s Don Giovanni remade for the 21st Century.
Director Daisy Evans makes great use of live performance, video projection, Facebook and recorded noise to create a cacophony of sound and light. The overall effect is brilliantly achieved, conjuring a dystopian world which cleverly captures the dark, damp performance space of The Vaults.
The play begins with Giovanni (Benedict Nelson) raping a woman and believing he’s done nothing wrong. We continue to watch the two men, led by Giovanni, trawling the internet for women for sex with a total lack of respect. Leporello (Frederick Long) idolises his friend and emulates his behaviour. The story seems as relevant today as it was when Mozart wrote it 200 years ago, with stories of women abused, raped and murdered across the world in the news seemingly every day at the moment.
The production is part-opera part-play, but also contains mime. It’s a clever mash-up of the original opera and a story of modern excess: sex, drugs, rock n’ roll, Tinder and iPhones.
The two actors give excellent performances and have awe-inspiring voices. Giovanni’s greed and insanity are wholly believable, as is Leporello’s pathetic adoration of his dangerously unhinged friend.
The action is frenetic, with the actors leaping across the stage, on top of tables and running down the aisles throughout. It’s no surprise that the hour-long play seems to be over in a flash.
This is an engaging play-cum-opera that even the non-opera fans will love.
Director: Daisy Evans
Producer: David Adkin
Booking information: This show has now ended
For more information visit: www.silentopera.co.uk