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'La ci darem' radiated sensual intensity with Goss's tone, evocatively matched with the focused baritone of Riccardo Simonetti as the Don, and the staging was delightful, each leading the other on. An attractive playboy willing to gamble in every situation, Simonetti brought to his title role both energy and power, bright sparkle in the Champagne aria, and eloquent bel canto in the Act II serenade. Yet it was in the Act I and Act II finales that he rose to the challenge, his 'Viva La Liberta' (left untranslated as also the Serenade) emphasised with captivating James-Bondian suavity. Simonetti carried one through the supernatural Graveyard and Supper scenes with conviction, here wonderfully complemented (as also elsewhere) by the colourfully sonorous baritone of Paul Keohone as Leporello, portrayed as a swaggering cloaked shadow with an eye patch.

Riccardo Simonetti (Don Giovanni, left) and Paul Keohone (Leporello)
Riccardo Simonetti (Don Giovanni, left) and Paul Keohone (Leporello)


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Copyright © 10 October 2006 Malcolm Miller, London UK


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