The Tcherniakov Don Giovanni that I just finished watching on Blu-ray is a Canadian Opera Company co-production so, sooner or later, it should end up in Toronto. That will be interesting. There’s a very conservative streak in the Toronto audience and, especially, among the critics for the major newspapers. These are people who are disturbed by Robert Carsen and go apopleptic over Chris Alden. It will be most interesting to see what the reaction is to something like Tcherniakov’s interpretation, even though it’s not that radical by European standards.
There’s also the question of casting. In the review I made the point that casting is crucial to pulling off this production. I wonder who we will get. It’s hard to see anyone else pulling off the title role as well as Skovhuis. Difficult too to replace Opolais. She just looks and sounds so right. I think it’s the lovely, sad eyes. Poutine loving Kyle Ketelsen is a known quantity in Toronto and so could maybe be our Leporello too though local boy Robert Gleadow has been getting rave reviews in the role and might fit. It’s hard to see who of the COC regulars could play this Donna Anna. I could see Annette Dasch doing it (please!). Julie Makerov might work. The other roles are easier. It needs a hulking Masetto and a diminutive Zerlina. Neil Craighead would fit for the former. Sasha Djihanian would be physically right for Zerlina but maybe the voice is too dark. Vocally Simone Osborne would be a better fit and if she’s not exactly waiflike she’s not statuesque either. I’d love to see what Michael Schade would do with this Don Ottavio. I don’t think he could play it like Balzer but it could be a very interesting bit of chemistry to inject. I don’t have strong views on the Commendatore. He needs to be large and patrician. Bob Pomakov could do it quite well.
It will also be interesting to see how this goes on a larger stage with a bigger chorus and a larger, modern, orchestra. Most of all though I want to see the whole production rather than the bits the video director thought we ought to get!