The prospect of putting on one of Mozart’s most challenging works with a group of 11-17 year-olds would be a fairly daunting one for any teacher but, given my past experiences of working with our d’Overbroeck’s students, I had high hopes for our production. However, even my ambitious expectations were exceeded as a result of the commitment, determination and considerable talent of the cast and the performances were a triumph.
Ours was an abridged version of the opera and told the story of the charismatic lothario Don Giovanni who seduces his way around Europe leaving death and upset in his wake. The flyer for the Premiere of the piece in 1787 advertised it as ‘Il Disoluto Punito’ -and this accurately and neatly sums up this story of the original ladies’ man who meets a rather hot and uncomfortable end with a horde of devils!
The cast showed a wealth talent: in the title role, Reuben Reed-Sanderson gave a wonderful performance as the ultimate cad, with his rakish air, commanding stage presence and strong vocal delivery. Lucy Davenport, playing Donna-Anna, one of Giovanni’s many jilted lovers and Michael Alchin, playing the part of her fiancé also commanded the stage when they sang. Emma Claridge and Ioan Oosthuizen acted and sang with convincing intensity as they plotted revenge against Don Giovanni in their separate ways, whilst Amelia Withers played the role of Leporello, Don Giovanni’s long-suffering servant, with humour.
The wedding scene gave some of the younger students the opportunity to sing in minor roles, led by the very convincing newly-married Cleo Turner and Ralph Collinson as Zerlina and Masetto, and many of them contributed with confidence and obvious enjoyment.
Special mention goes to our extremely professional and resourceful Stage Manager, Clara Nicholson and to Rose Poyser who stood in as Maria with only nine hours’ notice.
I would like to thank our incredible cast and crew for their commitment and passion in executing such a polished and vibrant production.
Very few schools could pull off such a challenging piece and I am incredibly proud of all that you achieved. A huge and heartfelt thank you to you all!”
Director/Musical Director of Don Giovanni