“In Italy 640, in Germany 231, but in Spain 1003!” John Savournin’s engaging Leporello reels off his master’s conquests in the witty, so called “Catalogue Aria”.

Alessandro Talevi’s entertaining production for Opera North now acknowledges the changed climate of opinion since his time-travelling Don Giovanni originally touched down at Leeds Grand nearly six years ago.

An electronic calendar above the stage noisily whirs through the centuries to settle on the present day.

The repeated interventions of Donna Elvira and Donna Anna as women wronged by Giovanni now seem much more disturbing.

William Dazeley reprises his elegant portrayal of the Don. Dazeley’s seductive duet La ci darem la mano (there we will entwine our hands) with the delicious creamy-toned Zerlina of Kathryn Rudge leaves the audience in no doubt about his real intentions. Zerlina’s oafish bridegroom Masetto - a nimble performance from fine young bass Ross McInroy - is given a severe beating when he confronts Giovanni.

Elizabeth Atherton returns as the spurned Donna Elvira.

She projects overwhelming sadness before breathing fire and fury into Elvira’s magnificent Mi tradi quell’ alma ingrata (that ungrateful wretch betrayed me).

The noble Donna Anna is sung with breathtaking poise by Jennifer Davis. Her account of Anna’s regretful Non mi dir (Tell me not that I am cruel) immaculately places every note of the fiendishly difficult coloratura passages.

The role of Don Ottavio, Anna’s betrothed, is more problematic.

Deprived of his coveted Il mio tesoro (My treasure) Ottavio tends to fade away in Act ll. Mozart replaced this wonderful tenor aria with Dalla sua pace (On her peace, my peace depends) in the first Act of the opera’s ‘Vienna version’. Yet, I can find no convincing reason for preventing Nicholas Watts - Opera North’s eloquent Ottavio - from singing both numbers.

Although some might argue that to do so rather gets in the way of Don Giovanni’s ghostly come-uppance.

In this production, the seemingly disembodied head and resonating bass voice of James Platt’s terrifying Commendatore slowly rises from his grave to administer retribution in the manner of one of those shlock horror zombie movies.

The comedy is dark and the music is sublimely played by the Orchestra of Opera North. There is an acute sense of flow, together with a feel for the score’s earthy buffo qualities in Christoph Alstaedt’s conducting of this great work.

Thurs 1st and Sat 3rd March at Leeds Grand Theatre.

by Geoffrey Mogridge