[Cast & Crew]

THE MUSIC AND THE PERFORMERS

Shortly before the film shoot began the music was recorded in two intense weeks with Concerto Copenhagen - one of the best baroque orchestras in the world. The recordings were done in a somewhat different way than the standard procedure for opera recordings, because Kasper Holten and film producers, Blenkov & Schønnemann had decided at an early stage, that all songs in the film should be recorded live on set.

"In almost all other opera films and musicals the songs are dubbed over the images and it always creates a sort of artificial and polished sensation. We wanted to create an extreme realism and the sense of presence, because that is precisely what the film medium can do and it is very important that an opera is experienced live! That's why, we decided that the actor's physical actions should influence the song, so when they run, fall, whisper, fight and love, it is heard in the voice. For filming, we gave the cast small speakers in their ears which played the music, so they could sing to it."

When the music recordings ended, the team travelled to Budapest, where they had six weeks of recordings with car chases, beautiful serenades and arias ahead of them.

Eva Wagner-Pasquier was hired as a caster. Today she leads the Bayreuth Festival, but was at that time working as artistic director of the Aix-en-Provence opera festival and as talent scout for The Metropolitan in New York. She got some of the biggest young opera talents in the world today on board:

CHRISTOPHER MALTMAN (Juan - Baritone, b. 1970, England)

In this crucial leading role, it was necessary for director Kasper Holten to get a person who could not only sing Mozart's demanding opera, but also act in front of the camera as the charismatic man Juan. There was really only one obvious choice, and Christopher Maltman was taken on early in the process. The Salzburg Festival was a triumph for Maltman in the title role as Don Giovanni, and the production was a rousing success with the audience. Opera critics celebrated him, pointing particularly to his "presence and authenticity" and his "dramatic superiority and brilliance." Christopher Maltman has sung in the largest and most prestigious opera houses in the world including Wiener Staatsoper, The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Staatsoper Munich, English National Opera and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He has been seen in several classical operas, where he has performed in roles such as Papageno (Magic Flute), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Ramiro (L'heure espagnole), Malatesta (Don Pasquale), Tarquinius (The Rape of Lucretia), Marcello (La bohème), Figaro (Barber of Seville).

MIKHAIL PETRENKO (Leporello - Bass, b. 1975, Russia)

He's the world famous conductor Valerij Gergiev's protégé and is leading the new generation of excellent Russian singers from the famous Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.

ELIZABETH FUTRAL(Elvira - Soprano, b. 1963, USA)

She is one of the more experienced forces in the film's ensemble and has long been considered an international opera star.

MARIA BENGTSSON(Anna - soprano, b. 1975, Sweden)

Opera lovers will this year find Maria Bengtsson at the scene of some the world's major opera houses.

ERIC HALFVARSON(Chief of Police - Bass, b. 1951, USA)

Any opera lover who has visited the great houses of Europe, will recognize the name Eric Halfvarson as one of the world's absolute stars of contemporary opera.

PETER LODAHL(Ottavio - Tenor, b. 1974, Denmark)

The role as Ottavio in Don Giovanni is well known for Peter Lodahl. He has performed it with several ensembles including Kiel Opera, the Norwegian National Opera and Staatsoper Hamburg. He is a popular solo singer who has performed at venues in Stuttgarter Liederhalle with soprano Diana Damrau and in Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. In the autumn of 2006, Peter Lodahl became part of the team at Komische Oper Berlin. Here he has performed as Rodolfo in La Bohème, Tamino in Magic Flute, Pylades in Iphigenie a Tauride, Almaviva in The Barber of Seville, Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte. This was also the year where he won first prize in the Gösta Winbergh Award - one of Scandinavia's most prestigious singing competitions.

KATIJA DRAGOJEVIC(Zerlina - mezzo-soprano, b. 1970, Sweden)

In the season 2003/2004 she played Kate Pinkerton in Puccini's Madame Butterfly at theROH Covent Garden and the shepherd in Wagner's Tannhäuser at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

LUDVIG LINDSTROM(Masetto - Baritone, b. 1982, Sweden)

The young Swede has appeared in Carl Nielsen's Maskerade and remarkably as the police chief in Don Giovanni. In the season 2008/2009 he got his major breakthrough as Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro at the Royal Theatre.

BEHIND THE FILM

KASPER HOLTEN (Director, Screenwriter)

has been Artistic Director at the Royal Theatre since 2000 and set up more than 60 operas, musicals and plays in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland, France, Austria, Russia and the U.S. In 2003 and 2006 he set up the complete Der Ring des Nibelungen by Wagner at the Royal Theatre for the first time in nearly a century. Whether it is Wagner's Lohengrin in Moscow or Walter Scott's Ivanhoe in Dyrehaven, the audience and critics agree that Kasper Holten is a very original artist, a formidable interpreter of existing works and a man with a talent for creating powerful visual experiences.

MOGENS RUKOV(Screenwriter)

is known as nothing less than the best screenplay consultant, and he has been involved in countless movies. Mogens Rukov is considered to be one of the leading forces behind Danish film's wave of success in the past several years with particularly Thomas Vinterberg's Festen from 1998 - the first dogma film.

ANDRÁS NAGY (Photographer)

is a young, but nevertheless very experienced photographer. Hungarian András Nagy has shot more than ten feature films including The Belgrade Phantom by Jovan Todorovic, Balra a nap nyugszik by András Fesös as well as the acclaimed Fehér Tenyér by Szabolcs Hajdu. In 2006 András Nagy won the award as "Cinematographer of the Year" at the Goldeneye Cinematographer Festival.

LARS ULRIK MORTENSEN (Conductor)

works both as conductor and concert pianist and tours the entire world. At the Royal Theatre, Lars Ulrik Mortensen has directed several operas with his orchestra Concerto Copenhagen - one of the best baroque orchestras in the world. In 2007 Lars Ulrik Mortensen won the Sonning Prize.

BLENKOV & SCHØNNEMANN(Production company)

The producers Malene Blenkov and Michel Schønnemann established their own production company in 2003. The starting point has always been quality, whether it is feature films, TV productions, short films or documentaries, they engage in. Blenkov & Schønnemann currently work with a number of major English co-productions as well as Danish films.

CREDITS

Juan
Christopher Maltman (England)
Leporello
Mikhail Petrenko (Russia)
Politichefen
Eric Halfvarson (USA)
Anna
Maria Bengtsson (Sweden)
Ottavio
Peter Lodahl (Denmark)
Elvira
Elizabeth Futral (USA)
Zerlina
Katija Dragojevic (Sweden)
Masetto
Ludvig Lindström (Sweden)

BAG FILMEN

Director
Kasper Holten
Script
Kasper Holten og Mogens Rukov baseret på Mozarts Don Giovanni
Music
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor
Lars Ulrik Mortensen
Orchestra
Concerto Copenhagen
Photographer
András Nagy
Producers
Malene Blenkov and Michel Schønnemann
DURATION
104 min.
RATING
Suitable for children over 11 years
LANGUAGE
English
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