Monday, March 25, 2013

Two Favorite Barihunks in Don Giovanni: Bižić & Mattei

Men at work
We've posted about both Peter Mattei and David Bižić recently. Now it's time to see/hear them together. Mr. Bižić just made his debut as Don Giovanni at the Slovenia National Theater (I am still trying to find a review!) In the great tradition of Mozart bass-baritones, he started as Masetto, and moved up to Leporello. In fact, his Don Giovanni in this Michael Haneke production guessed it: Peter Mattei!

This is another one of those controversial French productions; it premiered in 2006 at the Palais Garnier, and was revived in 2012 at Opéra Bastille. Blogger Opera Cake loved it (I think we’d enjoy going to the opera with Opera Cake) but many, if not most others were not as enthusiastic. Mr. Mattei is a very controlling Giovanni (he sings gorgeously, of course) who uses his sex appeal to manipulate everybody (with Bižić at right). 

...more of the scene above

The opening: Nos. 1 and 2

You can see most of the rest of the production in this YT play list.  It’s a dark recording, but it looks like the stage was deliberately under-lit; and it is another iPhone recording. The quality is low, but who can complain? It’s way better than not seeing/hearing it at all! This strong cast also includes Véronique Gens and Patricia Pettibon as Donnas Elvira and Anna, and Saimir Pirgu as Don Ottavio. Love or hate the production, it's got a lot to offer the curious opera-goer. 


  1. Try Google translate :)


    1. Thanks! I particularly appreciate the German, which I can almost handle on my own. Google translate is less than optimal but anything that can help me understand the Slovenian reviews is most welcome.

      It seems like no one was too thrilled with the overall production, but at least Mr. Bižić received good notices.

      Thanks again for the links.

  2. You're welcome. Indeed, no one was too thrilled with the production. I was there and I share that opinion. But Bižić was great!


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