Robert Carsen's spectacular production for La Scala of Don Giovanni created for the opening of the opera season in 2011, started a ten-performance run last night, which ends on 6 June.
The Financial Times review opened with,
No coup de théâtre ever matched Mozart's opening chords as stunningly as this.
This is a welcome return.
A completely new cast for 2017 is conducted by Paavo Järvi, making in a rare appearance in the pit, with Thomas Hampson, Hanna-Elisabeth Müller, Anett Fritsch, Luca Pisaroni, Bernard Richter, Mattia Olivieri, Giulia Semenzato and Tomasz Konieczny.
Järvi, has also been conducting the current ballet triple-bill: La Valse, Symphony in C and Shéhérazade.
The great American baritone, Thomas Hampson, is making his debut in an opera at La Scala, after many acclaimed recital and concert appearances; he plays Don Giovanni.
German soprano Hanna-Elisabeth Müller, as Donna Anna, is also making her house debut.
Luca Pisaroni, as Leporello, is one of the few Italian singers in the cast and he is, incredibly, not only making his house debut, but also singing only his second opera in Italy, after having sung in all the world's major opera houses. Benvenuto!
Young German soprano Anett Fritsch takes on the role of Donna Elvira. Another house debut.
Swiss tenor Bernard Richter, known for his interpretation of Mozart roles, plays Don Ottavio. He is also singing at La Scala for the first time.
Zerlina is interpreted by the Italian soprano Giulia Semenzato who, after winning the Toti dal Monte Competition in 2012 has embarked on a successful international career, and at La Scala has already been seen in Lucio Silla with Marc Minkowski and Falstaff with Zubin Mehta.
Mattia Olivieri, the exciting young Italian baritone, is Masetto. In 2015 he sang in La Bohème with Gustavo Dudamel conducting, as part of La Scala's Milan Expo programme, and with Fabio Luisi he sang in L'elisir d'amore in the same year.
The Polish bass-baritone, Tomasz Konieczny, completes the lineup. He has sung the Commendatore previously at Salzburg, and is yet another making his debut in Milan.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.