The Real Don Giovanni is an extremely quirky 1998 docu-drama starring Sir Thomas Allen. It’s set during a work when he is singing the Don at the Stavovské divadlo; site of the opera’s 1787 premier. He’s also investigating his theory that Don Giovanni was based on Giacomo Casanova who was, indeed, he claims, much involved in the creation of the opera. He pursues his research in various archives, including Duchkov Castle, ladies’ bedrooms and through an interesting encounter with two tarts in a graveyard..
During the same week the Prague police are pursuing a masked murderer caught on security cameras fleeing a woman’s bedroom. So, director Rupert Edwards has inter-cut grainy CCTV, news broadcasts,excerpts from Don Giovanni on stage, “documentary” footage of the search and Tom Allen’s “home videos” to create a very strange 50 minute film. By the end you may find yourself wondering who is stranger and more obsessive; Casanova or Allen?
Technically it’s an OK made for TV production with a passable quality 4:3 picture and LPCM stereo sound. Given the noir nature of the piece the quality seems appropriate. There are optional English subtitles for the sung bits.