Squire had the great pleasure of working with the ETO in March of 2016. We choreographed a series of fights for their production of Don Giovanni and had a lot of fun in the process. The show opened to great reviews from critics and audiences and we all feel very proud to have been involved with such a great show.
You can read the Guardians review below:
Lloyd Wood’s English Touring Opera production of Don Giovanni relocatesMozart’s tragicomedy to 1900s Vienna and sets it in the system of underground tunnels that served as makeshift housing for the city’s disenfranchised proletariat. It’s a striking concept that reminds us that the opera is as much about class as it is about sex.
George von Bergen’s sensualist Don descends to this underworld from the Klimtian city above in search of conquests, dragging his fellow aristocrats with him. Elvira (Ania Jeruc) sets out in pursuit, ostensibly to rescue Lucy Hall’s Zerlina from his clutches, though in reality she of course wants the Don back. Anna (Susanna Fairbairn, replacing the indisposed Gillian Ramm) and Ottavio (Robyn Lyn Evans) are out of their comfort zone here as they build a memorial near the spot where her father met his end.
Wood trusts Mozart’s ambiguities, though, and his interpretation has none of thearty glosses that have muddied many recent stagings. Von Bergen and Lyn Evans are both handsome, both bearded, so that Anna’s narrative of catastrophically mistaken identities for once rings true. Matthew Stiff’s dirty-minded Leporello carries not only the infamous catalogue but also endless changes of his master’s clothes in his knapsack.
It’s beautifully acted and for the most part finely sung. Von Bergen is utterly charismatic, though conductor Michael Rosewell, swift and urgent in his approach, pushes him hard in the champagne aria. Stiff is excellent. Jeruc sounds good, but we could do with more words. Fairbairn is really commanding, though Lyn Evans can occasionally be effortful. The original Prague version is used, albeit with a few cuts. Even so, it’s a fine achievement, and the best UK staging of Don Giovanni for some time.