Thursday, January 17
Hating on Don Ottavio
One of the local PBS stations ran that German production of Don Giovanni, with Thomas Allen as the Don. Enthusing about it to a friend the next day, I launched myself into an impromptu "Il mio tesoro" (the opera's best-known aria) [?!! - ed.]*. "I hate that aria," sniffed my friend. "In fact, I hate Don Ottavio. He's sappy."Finally, someone's said it. Does anyone else hate Don Ottavio like I do? The man's a cardboard cutout. Give me Leoporello and his sybaritic master anytime. At least they get their comeuppance in the end, while Don Ottavio is such a gelding he sits there without as much as a dismayed splutter while his beloved decides to unilaterally postpone their wedding by a whole year. On the other hand, maybe that's the point.
*What's Deh, vieni alla finestra, chopped liver?