@Home > Don Giovanni
Mozart, W. A. (1756-1791)
First performed October 29, 1787.
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte (in Itarian),
|A Summary of gDon Giovannih
In the 17th century, in Spain, Don Giovanni is a legendary hero, Don Juan. He makes a move on any woman, and jilts his lovers. He has instructed his attendant, Leporello, to stand guard outside while he attempts to creep into the bedroom of Donna Anna. But, she makes a low scream. Though her father, the Commendatore comes to her assistance, Don Giovanni stabs him to death with a dagger, and he runs away with his attendant, Leporello.
However, Don Giovanni has no sense of remorse. He attempts to make a move on another woman passing on the street. But, this woman turns out to be his former lover, Donna Elvira. She gets angry at his behavior. Don Giovanni pushes her on Leporello, and he succeeds in escaping again.
Next target is a bride, Zerlina, who is a village girl and is marrying the farmer, Masetto. Don Giovanni attempts to seduce Zerlina on her wedding day. Just then, Donna Anna, Don Ottavio, the man she is engaged to, and Donna Elvira arrive. The three expose for the villain he is. He somehow survives this awkward situation, and runs away once again.
Don Giovanni, who has yet to learn any lessons from these experiences, switches clothes with Leporello and leaves to attempt to seduce the other women. On the other hand, Leporello, who is dressed like his master, is caught and severely denounced by Donna Anna and the others.
Leporello runs for his life, and meets up with Don Giovanni in a graveyard. There is a stone statue of the Commendatore in the graveyard. Suddenly, the stone statue begins to talk to Don Giovanni in a scary voice, and puts pressure on him to repent his evil deeds. But, Don Giovanni ignores his advice, and he audaciously invites the stone statue to dinner.
That evening, while Don Giovanni is enjoying luxurious dinner, and perhaps to your surprise, the stone statue does appear. Don Giovanni tells him that he has never done any bad things. The stone statue pulls his hand, and leads him to hell.
|A Comment on gDon Giovannih
|The original piece of this opera is the legend about
"Don Juan" that is well-known in Europe. As legend goes, Don Juan had
1003 lovers in Spain. Don Juan is referred to as "Don Giovanni" in
this opera. There are three women who have quite different backgrounds, a
daughter of aristocracy, Donna Anna, a DG's former lover, Donna Elvira, and a
village beauty, Zerlina. It is remarkable to see the interaction between Don
Giovanni and the three women.
Mozart's previous opera, "The Marriage of
Figaro", was a great success in Prague. Enthusiastic funs of Mozart in
Prague desire to see a new Mozart opera. The chief manager of the National
Theater in Prague suggested to Mozart to create a new opera. From that
background, Mozart composed this opera, "Don Giovanni." Mozart was
concerned whether this new opera would gain currency among people in Prague. Fortunately
for Mozart, Don Giovanni became successful.
There are some serious scenes in this opera, for
example, to fight a duel between Don Giovanni and the Commendatore. The most
dramatic scene is that Don Giovanni goes to hell. Mozart composed some very
great dramatic music for this scene. It is one of the greatest scenes in all of
|Gluck, C. W. (1714-1787)
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Mozart, W. A. (1756-1791)
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Beethoven, L. v. (1770-1827)
Weber, C. M. v. (1786-1826)
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Rossini, G. (1792-1868)
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Donizetti, G. (1797-1848)
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Verdi, G. (1813-1901)
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Wagner, R. (1813-1883)
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Offenbach, J. (1819-1880)
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Strauss, J. (1825-1899)
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Bizet, G. (1838-1875)
Tchaikovsky, P. J. (1840-1893)
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Massenet, J. (1842-1912)
Humperdinck, E. (1854-1921)
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Puccini, G. (1858-1924)
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Leoncavallo, R. (1858-1919)
Mascagni, P. (1863-1945)
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Debussy, C. (1862-1918)
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Strauss, R. (1864-1949)
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