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''Don Giovanni'' (; K. 527; complete title: , literally ''The
Rake __NOTOC__ Rake may refer to: * Rake (character), a man habituated to immoral conduct * Rake (theatre), the artificial slope of a theatre stage Science and technology * Rake receiver, a radio receiver * Rake (geology), the angle between a feature o ...
Punished, or Don Giovanni'' or ''The Libertine Punished'') is an
opera Opera is a form of theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a s ...

opera
in two acts with music by
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 17565 December 1791), baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical periodClassical period may refer to: *Classical Greece, speci ...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
and Italian
libretto A libretto (Italian for "booklet") is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera Opera is a form of theatre in which music is a fundamental component and dramatic roles are taken by Singing, singers, but is ...
by
Lorenzo Da Ponte Lorenzo Da Ponte (born Emanuele Conegliano 10 March 174917 August 1838) was an Italian, later American, opera Opera is a form of theatre in which music is a fundamental component and dramatic roles are taken by Singing, singers, but is distin ...
. It is based on the legends of
Don Juan Don Juan (), also known as Don Giovanni (Italian language, Italian), is a legendary, fictional Spaniards, Spanish libertine who devotes his life to seduction, seducing women. Famous versions of the story include a 17th-century play, ''The Trick ...
, a fictional
libertine A libertine is a person devoid of most moral principles, a sense of responsibility, or sexual restraints, which are seen as unnecessary or undesirable, especially someone who ignores or even spurns accepted morals and forms of behaviour sanctifie ...
and seducer, written by
Tirso de Molina Gabriel Téllez ( 24 March 1583 20 February 1648), better known as Tirso de Molina, was a Spanish Spanish Baroque literature, Baroque dramatist, poet and Roman Catholic monk. He is primarily known for writing ''The Trickster of Seville and the Sto ...

Tirso de Molina
. It was premiered by the Prague Italian opera at the National Theater (of Bohemia), now called the
Estates Theatre The Estates Theatre or Stavovské divadlo is a historic theater Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event ...

Estates Theatre
, on 29 October 1787. Da Ponte's libretto was billed as a ''
dramma giocoso ''Dramma giocoso'' (Italian, literally: drama with jokes; plural: ''drammi giocosi'') is a genre of opera common in the mid-18th century. The term is a contraction of ''dramma giocoso per musica'' and describes the opera's libretto (text). The gen ...
'', a common designation of its time that denotes a mixing of serious and comic action. Mozart entered the work into his catalogue as an ''
opera buffa ''Opera buffa'' (; "comic opera", plural: ''opere buffe'') is a genre of opera Opera is a form of theatre in which music is a fundamental component and dramatic roles are taken by Singing, singers, but is distinct from musical theatre. Such ...
''. Although sometimes classified as comic, it blends comedy, melodrama and
supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the . This term is attributed to , such as s, s, , and . It also includes claimed abilities embodied in or provided by such beings, including , , , , and . Th ...

supernatural
elements. ''Don Giovanni'' is generally regarded as one of Mozart's supreme achievements and one of the greatest operas of all time, and it has proved a fruitful subject for writers and philosophers. A staple of the standard operatic repertoire, it has been described by critic Fiona Maddocks as one of Mozart's "trio of masterpieces with libretti by Ponte".


Composition and premiere

The opera was commissioned after the success of Mozart's trip to Prague in January and February 1787.The background of the production is summarized in . The subject may have been chosen due to the genre of eighteenth-century Don Juan opera having originated in Prague.
Lorenzo Da Ponte Lorenzo Da Ponte (born Emanuele Conegliano 10 March 174917 August 1838) was an Italian, later American, opera Opera is a form of theatre in which music is a fundamental component and dramatic roles are taken by Singing, singers, but is distin ...
's libretto is based on
Giovanni BertatiGiovanni Bertati (10 July 1735 – December 1815) was an Italian librettist A libretto (Italian for "booklet") is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera Opera is a form of theatre in which music is a fun ...
's for the opera ''
Don Giovanni Tenorio ', (English: ''Don Giovanni, or The Stone Guest'') also known as ''Don Giovanni Tenorio'' is a one-act opera (dramma giocoso) by the Italian composer Giuseppe Gazzaniga. The opera was first performed at the Teatro San Moisè, Venice, on 5 February 1 ...
'', which premiered in Venice early in 1787. Two important elements he copied were opening the drama with the murder of the Commendatore, and not specifying
Seville Seville (; es, Sevilla, Castilian Spanish , Andalusian Spanish (with yeísmo) ) is the capital and largest city of the Spain, Spanish autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Andalusia and the province of Seville. It is situate ...

Seville
as the setting. For Bertati, the setting was
Villena Villena () is a city in Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map ...
,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
, while Da Ponte uses a "city in Spain". ''Don Giovanni'' was planned to premiere on 14 October 1787 for Archduchess
Maria Theresa of Austria Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina (german: Maria Theresia; 13 May 1717 – 29 November 1780) was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions, ruling from 1740 until her death in 1780. She was the sovereign of Austria Austria (, ...
’s visit. As the production was not ready ''
Le nozze di Figaro ''The Marriage of Figaro'' ( it, Le nozze di Figaro, links=no, ), K. 492, is an opera buffa ''Opera buffa'' (; "comic opera", plural: ''opere buffe'') is a genre of opera Opera is a form of theatre in which music is a fundamental ...

Le nozze di Figaro
'' was substituted instead. The score was completed on 28 or 29 October 1787. Mozart recorded the completion of the opera on 28 October, the night before its premiere. The score calls for double woodwinds, two
hornsHorns or The Horns may refer to: * The Horns (Colorado), a summit on Cheyenne Mountain * ''Horns'' (novel), a dark fantasy novel written in 2010 by Joe Hill ** ''Horns'' (film), a 2013 film adaptation of Hill's novel * "The Horns" (song), a 2015 ...
, two
trumpet The trumpet is a brass instrument A brass instrument is a that produces sound by of air in a tubular in sympathy with the vibration of the player's lips. Brass instruments are also called labrosones or labrophones, from Latin and Greek ...

trumpet
s, three
trombone The trombone is a musical instrument A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make Music, musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the ob ...

trombone
s (alto, tenor, bass),
timpani Timpani (; ) or kettledrums (also informally called timps) are musical instruments in the percussion instrument, percussion family. A type of drum categorised as a hemispherical drum, they consist of a Membranophone, membrane called a drumhead, ...

timpani
,
basso continuo Basso continuo parts, almost universal in the Baroque The Baroque (, ; ) is a Style (visual arts), style of Baroque architecture, architecture, Baroque music, music, Baroque dance, dance, Baroque painting, painting, Baroque sculpture, sculpture a ...
for the
recitative 200px, A recitative from Cantata 140, "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme".">BWV 140">Cantata 140, "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme". Recitative (, also known by its Italian name "''recitativo''" ()) is a style of delivery (much used in opera ...
s, and the usual
string section The string section is composed of bowed instruments belonging to the violin family The violin family of musical instruments was developed in Italy in the 16th century. At the time the name of this family of instruments was viole da braccio wh ...
. The composer also specified occasional special musical effects. For the ballroom scene at the end of the first act, Mozart calls for two onstage ensembles to play separate dance music in synchronization with the pit orchestra, each of the three groups playing in its own
metre The metre ( Commonwealth spelling) or meter (American spelling Despite the various English dialects spoken from country to country and within different regions of the same country, there are only slight regional variations in English ...
(a 3/4
minuet A minuet (; also spelled menuet) is a social dance Social dance is a category of dances that have a social function and context. Social dances are intended for participation rather than Concert dance, performance and can be Lead and follow, l ...
, a 2/4 contradanse and a fast 3/8 peasant dance), accompanying the dancing of the principal characters. In act 2, Giovanni is seen to play the
mandolin A mandolin ( it, mandolino ; literally "small mandola The mandola (US and Canada) or tenor mandola (Ireland and UK) is a fretted, stringed musical instrument A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make Music, musical sounds ...

mandolin
, accompanied by
pizzicato Middle C, pizzicato . Pizzicato (, ; translated as "pinched", and sometimes roughly as "plucked") is a playing technique that involves plucking the strings of a string instrument String instruments, stringed instruments, or chordophones are ...
strings. In the same act, two of the Commendatore's interventions ("" and "") are accompanied by a wind chorale of oboes, clarinets,
bassoon The bassoon is a woodwind instrument Woodwind instruments are a family of musical instruments A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a m ...

bassoon
s, and trombones (with cellos and basses playing from the string section). The opera was first performed on 29 October 1787 in Prague under its full title of ''Il dissoluto punito ossia il Don Giovanni'' – Dramma giocoso in due atti (''The Rake punished, or Don Giovanni'', a dramma giocoso in two acts). The work was rapturously received, as was often true of Mozart's work in Prague. The ''Prager Oberpostamtzeitung'' reported, "Connoisseurs and musicians say that Prague has never heard the like," and "the opera … is extremely difficult to perform." The ''Provincialnachrichten'' of Vienna reported, "Herr Mozart conducted in person and was welcomed joyously and jubilantly by the numerous gathering."


Revision for Vienna

Mozart also supervised the Vienna premiere of the work, which took place on 7 May 1788. For this production, he wrote two new arias with corresponding recitatives – Don Ottavio's aria "" (K. 540a, composed on 24 April for the tenor Francesco Morella), Elvira's aria "" (K. 540c, composed on 30 April for the soprano
Caterina CavalieriCaterina Magdalena Giuseppa Cavalieri (11 March 1755 – 30 June 1801) was an Austrian soprano. Born as Katharina Magdalena Josepha CavalierOther spellings of her first name are Catarina and Katerina. in Lichtental, Vienna, Cavalieri studied voice w ...
) – and the duet between Leporello and Zerlina "" (K. 540b, composed on 28 April). He also made some cuts in the Finale in order to make it shorter and more incisive, the most important of which is the section where Anna and Ottavio, Elvira, Zerlina and Masetto, Leporello reveal their plans for the future (""). In order to connect "" ("It must have been the ghost she met") directly to the moral of the story "" ("This is the end which befalls to evildoers"), Mozart composed a different version of "" ("So the wretch can stay down there with
Proserpina Proserpina ( , ) or Proserpine ( ) is an ancient Roman goddess A goddess is a female Female (symbol: ♀) is the sex of an organism, or a part of an organism, that produces non-mobile ovum, ova (egg cells). Barring rare medical conditi ...

Proserpina
and Pluto!"). These cuts are very seldom performed in theatres or recordings.


Later performance traditions

The opera's final ensemble was generally omitted until the early 20th century, a tradition that apparently began very early on. According to the 19th-century Bohemian memoirist , the final ensemble was only presented at the very first performance in Prague, then never heard again during the original run. It does not appear in the Viennese libretto of 1788; thus the ending of the first performance in Vienna without the ensemble as depicted in the film '' Amadeus'' may be an accurate portrayal. Nonetheless, the final ensemble is almost invariably performed in full today. Modern productions sometimes include both the original aria for Don Ottavio, "", and its replacement from the first production in Vienna that was crafted to suit the capabilities of the tenor Francesco Morella, "". Elvira's "" is usually retained as well. The duet "" and the whole accompanying scene involving Zerlina and Leporello from the Viennese version is almost never included. Although the same singer played both Masetto and the Commendatore roles in both the Prague and Vienna premieres, in modern-day productions, the roles are typically taken by different singers (unless limited by such things as finance or rehearsal time and space). The final scene's chorus of demons after the Commendatore's exit gives the singer time for a costume change before entering as Masetto for the sextet, though not much time.


Roles


Instrumentation

The instrumentation is: * Woodwinds: two
flute The flute is a family of musical instrument A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the objec ...

flute
s, two
oboe The oboe ( ) is a type of double reed A double reed is a type of reed Reed or Reeds may refer to: Science, technology, biology, and medicine * Reed bird (disambiguation) * Reed pen, writing implement in use since ancient times * Reed ( ...

oboe
s, two
clarinet The clarinet is a family of woodwind instrument Woodwind instruments are a family of musical instruments A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be cons ...

clarinet
s and two
bassoon The bassoon is a woodwind instrument Woodwind instruments are a family of musical instruments A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a m ...

bassoon
s *
Brass Brass is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appea ...
: two
hornsHorns or The Horns may refer to: * The Horns (Colorado), a summit on Cheyenne Mountain * ''Horns'' (novel), a dark fantasy novel written in 2010 by Joe Hill ** ''Horns'' (film), a 2013 film adaptation of Hill's novel * "The Horns" (song), a 2015 ...
, two
trumpet The trumpet is a brass instrument A brass instrument is a that produces sound by of air in a tubular in sympathy with the vibration of the player's lips. Brass instruments are also called labrosones or labrophones, from Latin and Greek ...

trumpet
s, three
trombone The trombone is a musical instrument A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make Music, musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the ob ...

trombone
s *
Percussion A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater (percussion), beater including attached or enclosed beaters or Rattle (percussion beater), rattles struck, scraped or rubbed by hand or ...
:
timpani Timpani (; ) or kettledrums (also informally called timps) are musical instruments in the percussion instrument, percussion family. A type of drum categorised as a hemispherical drum, they consist of a Membranophone, membrane called a drumhead, ...

timpani
*
Strings String or strings may refer to: *String (structure), a long flexible structure made from threads twisted together, which is used to tie, bind, or hang other objects Arts, entertainment, and media Films * Strings (1991 film), ''Strings'' (1991 fil ...
: first
violin The violin, sometimes known as a ''fiddle'', is a wooden chordophone (string instrument) in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body. It is the smallest and thus highest-pitched instrument (soprano) in the family in regular ...

violin
s, second violins,
viola ; german: Bratsche , alt=Viola shown from the front and the side , image=Bratsche.jpg , caption= , background=string , hornbostel_sachs=321.322-71 , hornbostel_sachs_desc=Composite chordophone A chordophone is a musical instrument that makes s ...

viola
s,
cello The cello ( ; plural celli or cellos) or violoncello ( ; ) is a Bow (music), bowed (sometimes pizzicato, plucked and occasionally col legno, hit) string instrument of the violin family. Its four strings are usually intonation (music), tuned in ...

cello
s and
double bass The double bass, also known simply as the bass (or by other names), is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed (or plucked) string instrument String instruments, stringed instruments, or chordophones are musical instruments that produce so ...

double bass
es *
Basso continuo Basso continuo parts, almost universal in the Baroque The Baroque (, ; ) is a of , , , , and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th century until the 1740s. In the territories of the Spanish and Portuguese empires including ...
in secco recitatives of
harpsichord A harpsichord ( it, clavicembalo, french: clavecin, german: Cembalo, es, clavecín, pt, cravo, nl, klavecimbel) is a musical instrument A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make musical sounds. In principle, any object that ...
and
violoncello The cello ( ; plural celli or cellos) or violoncello ( ; ) is a bowed (and occasionally plucked) string instrument String instruments, stringed instruments, or chordophones are musical instrument A musical instrument is a device created ...

violoncello
(period performance practice often uses a
fortepiano A fortepiano is an early piano The piano is an acoustic Acoustic may refer to: Music Albums * Acoustic (Bayside EP), ''Acoustic'' (Bayside EP) * Acoustic (Britt Nicole EP), ''Acoustic'' (Britt Nicole EP) * Acoustic (Joey Cape and Ton ...
only) *
Mandolin A mandolin ( it, mandolino ; literally "small mandola The mandola (US and Canada) or tenor mandola (Ireland and UK) is a fretted, stringed musical instrument A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make Music, musical sound ...

Mandolin


Synopsis

Don Giovanni, a young, arrogant, and sexually promiscuous nobleman, abuses and outrages everyone else in the cast until he encounters something he cannot kill, beat up, dodge, or outwit.


Act 1

The
overture Overture (from French language, French ''ouverture'', "opening") in music was originally the instrumental introduction to a ballet, opera, or oratorio in the 17th century. During the early Romantic era, composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Beet ...

overture
begins with a thundering
D minor D minor is a minor scale based on D (musical note), D, consisting of the pitches D, E (musical note), E, F (musical note), F, G (musical note), G, A (musical note), A, B♭ (musical note), B, and C (musical note), C. Its key signature has one Flat ( ...
cadence, followed by a short sequence which leads into a light-hearted
D major D major (or the key of D) is a major scale The major scale (or Ionian mode) is one of the most commonly used musical scales In music theory Music theory is the study of the practices and possibilities of music. ''The Oxford Companion to M ...
allegro. :''The garden of the Commendatore'' Leporello, Don Giovanni's servant, grumbles about his demanding master and daydreams about being free of him ("" – "Night and day I slave away"). He is keeping watch while Don Giovanni is in the Commendatore's house attempting to seduce or rape the Commendatore's daughter, Donna Anna. Don Giovanni enters the garden from inside the house, pursued by Donna Anna. Don Giovanni is masked and Donna Anna tries to hold him and to unmask him, shouting for help. (Trio: "" – "Do not hope, unless you kill me, that I shall ever let you run away!"). He breaks free and she runs off as the Commendatore enters the garden. The Commendatore blocks Don Giovanni's path and forces him to fight a duel. Don Giovanni kills the Commendatore with his sword and escapes with Leporello. Donna Anna, returning with her fiancé, Don Ottavio, is horrified to see her father lying dead in a pool of his own blood. She makes Don Ottavio swear vengeance against the unknown murderer. (Duet: "" – "Ah, swear to avenge that blood if you can!") :''A public square outside Don Giovanni's palace'' Leporello tells Don Giovanni that he (Giovanni) is leading a rotten life; Don Giovanni reacts angrily. They hear a woman (Donna Elvira) singing of having been abandoned by her lover, on whom she is seeking revenge ("" – "Ah, who could ever tell me"). Don Giovanni starts to flirt with her, but it turns out he is the former lover she is seeking. The two recognize each other and she reproaches him bitterly. He shoves Leporello forward, ordering him to tell Donna Elvira the truth about him, and then hurries away. Leporello tells Donna Elvira that Don Giovanni is not worth her feelings for him. He is unfaithful to everyone; his conquests include 640 women and girls in Italy, 231 in Germany, 100 in France, 91 in Turkey, but in Spain, 1,003 (" Madamina, il catalogo è questo" – "My dear lady, this is the catalogue"). In a frequently cut recitative, Donna Elvira vows vengeance. :''The open country'' A marriage procession with Masetto and Zerlina enters. Don Giovanni and Leporello arrive soon after. Don Giovanni is immediately attracted to Zerlina, and he attempts to remove the jealous Masetto by offering to host a wedding celebration at his castle. On realizing that Don Giovanni means to remain behind with Zerlina, Masetto becomes angry ("" – "I understand! Yes, my lord!") but is forced to leave. Don Giovanni and Zerlina are soon alone and he immediately begins his seductive arts (Duet: " Là ci darem la mano" – "There we will entwine our hands"). Donna Elvira arrives and thwarts the seduction ("" – "Flee from the traitor!"). She leaves with Zerlina. Don Ottavio and Donna Anna enter, plotting vengeance on the still unknown murderer of Donna Anna's father. Donna Anna, unaware that she is speaking to her attacker, pleads for Don Giovanni's help. Don Giovanni, relieved that he is unrecognised, readily promises it, and asks who has disturbed her peace. Before she can answer, Donna Elvira returns and tells Donna Anna and Don Ottavio that Don Giovanni is a false-hearted seducer. Don Giovanni tries to convince Don Ottavio and Donna Anna that Donna Elvira is insane (Quartet: "" – "Don't trust him, oh sad one"). As Don Giovanni leaves, Donna Anna suddenly recognizes him as her father's murderer and tells Don Ottavio the story of his intrusion, claiming that she was deceived at first because she was expecting a night visit from Don Ottavio himself, but managed to fight Don Giovanni off after discovering the impostor (long recitative exchange between Donna Anna and Don Ottavio). She repeats her demand that he avenge her and points out that he will be avenging himself as well (aria: "Or sai chi l'onore Rapire a me volse" – "Now you know who wanted to rob me of my honour"). In the Vienna version, Don Ottavio, not yet convinced (Donna Anna having only recognised Don Giovanni's voice, not seen his face), resolves to keep an eye on his friend ("" – "On her peace my peace depends"). Leporello informs Don Giovanni that all the guests of the peasant wedding are in Don Giovanni's house and that he distracted Masetto from his jealousy, but that Zerlina, returning with Donna Elvira, made a scene and spoiled everything. However, Don Giovanni remains cheerful and tells Leporello to organize a party and invite every girl he can find. (Don Giovanni's "Champagne Aria": "" – "Till they are tipsy"). They hasten to his palace. :''A garden outside Don Giovanni's palace'' Zerlina follows the jealous Masetto and tries to pacify him ("" – "Beat, O beat me, handsome Masetto"), but just as she manages to persuade him of her innocence, Don Giovanni's voice from offstage startles and frightens her. Masetto hides, resolving to see for himself what Zerlina will do when Don Giovanni arrives. Zerlina tries to hide from Don Giovanni, but he finds her and attempts to continue the seduction, until he stumbles upon Masetto's hiding place. Confused but quickly recovering, Don Giovanni reproaches Masetto for leaving Zerlina alone, and returns her temporarily to him. Don Giovanni then leads both offstage to his ballroom. Three masked guests – the disguised Don Ottavio, Donna Anna, and Donna Elvira – enter the garden. From a balcony, Leporello invites them to his master's party. They accept the invitation and Leporello leaves the balcony. Alone, Don Ottavio and Donna Anna pray for protection, Donna Elvira for vengeance (Trio: "" – "May the just heavens protect us"). :''Don Giovanni's ballroom'' As the merriment, featuring three separate chamber orchestras on stage, proceeds, Leporello distracts Masetto by dancing with him, while Don Giovanni leads Zerlina offstage to a private room and tries to assault her. When Zerlina screams for help, Don Giovanni drags Leporello onstage from the room, accuses Leporello of assaulting Zerlina himself, and threatens to kill him. The others are not fooled. Don Ottavio produces a pistol and points it at Don Giovanni, and the three guests unmask and declare that they know all. But despite being denounced and menaced from all sides, Don Giovanni remains calm and escapes – for the moment.


Act 2

:''Outside Donna Elvira's house'' Leporello threatens to leave Don Giovanni, but his master calms him with a peace offering of money (Duet: "Eh via buffone" – "Go on, fool"). Wanting to seduce Donna Elvira's maid, and believing that she will trust him better if he appears in lower-class clothes, Don Giovanni orders Leporello to exchange cloak and hat with him. Donna Elvira comes to her window (Trio: "Ah taci, ingiusto core" – "Ah, be quiet unjust heart"). Seeing an opportunity for a game, Don Giovanni hides and sends Leporello out in the open wearing Don Giovanni's cloak and hat. From his hiding place Don Giovanni sings a promise of repentance, expressing a desire to return to her and threatening to kill himself if she does not take him back, while Leporello poses as Don Giovanni and tries to keep from laughing. Donna Elvira, convinced, descends to the street. Leporello, continuing to pose as Don Giovanni, leads her away to keep her occupied while Don Giovanni
serenade ''Serenade'' by Judith Leyster. In music, a serenade (; also sometimes called ''serenata'', from the Italian) is a musical composition File:Chord chart.svg, 250px, Jazz and rock genre musicians may memorize the melodies for a new song, whi ...

serenade
s her maid with his
mandolin A mandolin ( it, mandolino ; literally "small mandola The mandola (US and Canada) or tenor mandola (Ireland and UK) is a fretted, stringed musical instrument A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make Music, musical sounds ...

mandolin
. ("Deh, vieni alla finestra" – "Ah, come to the window"). Before Don Giovanni can complete his seduction of the maid, Masetto and his friends arrive, looking for Don Giovanni in order to kill him. Don Giovanni poses as Leporello (whose clothes he is still wearing) and joins the posse, pretending that he also hates Don Giovanni. After cunningly dispersing Masetto's friends (Don Giovanni aria: "Metà di voi qua vadano" – "Half of you go this way. the others, go that way"), Don Giovanni takes Masetto's weapons away, beats him up, and runs off, laughing. Zerlina arrives and consoles the bruised and battered Masetto ("Vedrai carino" – "You'll see, dear one"). :''A dark courtyard'' Leporello abandons Donna Elvira. (Sextet: "Sola, sola in buio loco" – "All alone in this dark place"). As he tries to escape, he bumps into Don Ottavio and Donna Anna. Zerlina and Masetto also enter the scene. Everyone mistakes Leporello for Don Giovanni, whose clothes he is still wearing. They surround Leporello and threaten to kill him. Donna Elvira tries to protect the man who she thinks is Don Giovanni, claiming him as her husband and begging the others to spare him. Leporello takes off Don Giovanni's cloak and reveals his true identity. He begs for mercy and, seeing an opportunity, runs off (Leporello aria: "Ah pietà signori miei" – "Ah, have mercy, my lords"). Don Ottavio is now convinced that Don Giovanni murdered Donna Anna's father (the deceased Commendatore). He swears vengeance (" Il mio tesoro" – "My treasure" – though in the Vienna version this was cut). In the Vienna production of the opera, Zerlina follows Leporello and recaptures him. Threatening him with a razor, she ties him to a stool. He attempts to sweet-talk her out of hurting him. (Duet: "Per queste tue manine" – "For these hands of yours"). Zerlina goes to find Masetto and the others; Leporello escapes again before she returns. This scene, marked by low comedy, is rarely performed today. Also in the Vienna production, Donna Elvira is still furious at Don Giovanni for betraying her, but she also feels sorry for him. ("Mi tradì quell'alma ingrata" – "That ungrateful wretch betrayed me"). :''A graveyard with the statue of the Commendatore'' Don Giovanni wanders into a graveyard. Leporello happens along and the two reunite. Leporello tells Don Giovanni of his brush with danger, and Don Giovanni laughingly taunts him, saying that he took advantage of his disguise as Leporello by trying to seduce one of Leporello's girlfriends. The voice of the statue interrupts and warns Don Giovanni that his laughter will not last beyond sunrise. At the command of his master, Leporello reads the inscription upon the statue's base: "Here am I waiting for revenge against the scoundrel who killed me" ("Dell'empio che mi trasse al passo estremo qui attendo la vendetta"). The servant trembles, but Don Giovanni scornfully orders him to invite the statue to dinner, and threatens to kill him if he does not. Leporello makes several attempts to invite the statue to dinner, but is too frightened to complete the invitation (Duet: "O, statua gentilissima" – "Oh most noble statue"). Don Giovanni invites the statue to dinner himself. Much to his surprise, the statue nods its head and responds affirmatively. :''Donna Anna's room'' Don Ottavio pressures Donna Anna to marry him, but she thinks it is inappropriate so soon after her father's death. He accuses her of being cruel, and she assures him that she loves him, and is faithful ("Non mi dir" – "Tell me not"). :''Don Giovanni's chambers'' Don Giovanni revels in the luxury of a great meal, served by Leporello, and musical entertainment during which the orchestra plays music from popular (at the time) late-18th-century operas: "O quanto un sì bel giubilo" from Vicente Martín y Soler's ''
Una cosa rara ' (''A Rare Thing, or Beauty and Honesty'') is an opera by the composer Vicente Martín y Soler. It takes the form of a dramma giocoso in two acts. The libretto, by Lorenzo Da Ponte, is based on the play ' by Luis Vélez de Guevara. The opera was fi ...
'' (1786), "Come un agnello" from
Giuseppe Sarti Giuseppe Sarti (also Sardi; baptised 1 December 1729 – 28 July 1802) was an Italian opera composer. Biography He was born at Faenza. His date of birth is not known, but he was baptised on 1 December 1729. Some earlier sources say he was born ...
's ''
Fra i due litiganti il terzo gode (''While Two Dispute, the Third Enjoys'') is a dramma giocoso in two acts by Giuseppe Sarti. The libretto was after Carlo Goldoni's ''Le nozze'' (''The Marriage''). One aria from this opera, "Come un agnello", is famously quoted by Wolfgang Amadeu ...
'' (1782) and finally, " Non più andrai" from Mozart's own ''
The Marriage of Figaro ''The Marriage of Figaro'' ( it, Le nozze di Figaro, links=no, ), K. 492, is an opera buffa ''Opera buffa'' (; "comic opera", plural: ''opere buffe'') is a genre of opera Opera is a form of theatre in which music is a fundamental ...
'' (1786). Leporello comments that he is all too familiar with the final tune. (Finale "Già la mensa preparata" – "Already the table is prepared"). Donna Elvira enters, saying that she no longer feels resentment against Don Giovanni, only pity for him. ("L'ultima prova dell'amor mio" – "The final proof of my love"). Don Giovanni, surprised, asks what she wants, and she begs him to change his life. Don Giovanni taunts her and then turns away, praising wine and women as the "support and glory of humankind" (''sostegno e gloria d'umanità''). Hurt and angry, Donna Elvira gives up and leaves. Offstage, she screams in sudden terror. Don Giovanni orders Leporello to see what has upset her; when he does, he also cries out, and runs back into the room, stammering that the statue has appeared as promised. An ominous knocking sounds at the door. Leporello, paralyzed by fear, cannot answer it, so Don Giovanni opens it himself, revealing the statue of the Commendatore. With the rhythmic chords of the overture, now reharmonized with diabolic diminished sevenths accompanying the Commendatore ("Don Giovanni! A cenar teco m'invitasti" – "Don Giovanni! You invited me to dine with you"), the statue asks if Don Giovanni will now accept ''his'' invitation to dinner. Don Giovanni brazenly accepts, and shakes the statue's proffered hand, only to collapse as he is overcome by sudden chills. The statue offers him a final chance to repent as death draws near, but Don Giovanni adamantly refuses. The statue disappears and Don Giovanni cries out in pain and terror as he is surrounded by a chorus of demons, who carry him down to Hell. Leporello, watching from under the table, also cries out in fear. Donna Anna, Don Ottavio, Donna Elvira, Zerlina, and Masetto arrive, searching for the villain. They find instead Leporello hiding under the table, shaken by the supernatural horror he has witnessed. He assures them that no one will ever see Don Giovanni again. The remaining characters announce their plans for the future: Donna Anna and Don Ottavio will marry when Donna Anna's year of mourning is over; Donna Elvira will withdraw from society for the rest of her life; Zerlina and Masetto will finally go home for dinner; and Leporello will go to the tavern to find a better master. The concluding ensemble delivers the moral of the opera – "Such is the end of the evildoer: the death of a sinner always reflects his life" (''Questo è il fin di chi fa mal, e de' perfidi la morte alla vita è sempre ugual''). As mentioned above, productions for over a century - beginning with the original run in Prague - customarily omitted the final ensemble, but it frequently re-appeared in the 20th century and productions of the opera now usually included it. The return to D major and the innocent simplicity of the last few bars conclude the opera.


Recordings

Paul Czinner Paul Czinner (30 May 1890 – 22 June 1972) was a Hungarian-born British writer, film director, and producer. Biography Czinner was born to a Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are ...
directed a filming of the
Salzburg Festival The Salzburg Festival (german: Salzburger Festspiele) is a prominent festival of music and drama established in 1920. It is held each summer (for five weeks starting in late July) in the Austrian town of Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amade ...
presentation in 1954. A
screen adaptation Screen or Screens may refer to: Arts * Screen printing (also called ''silkscreening''), a method of printing * Big screen, a nickname associated with the motion picture industry * Split screen (filmmaking), a film composition paradigm in which mult ...
was directed by
Joseph Losey Joseph Walton Losey III (; January 14, 1909 – June 22, 1984) was an American theatre and film director, producer, and screenwriter. Born in Wisconsin Wisconsin () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatu ...
in 1979.


Cultural influence

The Danish philosopher
Søren Kierkegaard Søren Aabye Kierkegaard ( , also ; ; 5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic, and religious author who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher. He wrote critica ...
wrote a long essay in his book '' Enten – Eller'' in which he argues, writing under the pseudonym of his character "A", that "among all classic works ''Don Giovanni'' stands highest."
Charles Gounod Charles-François Gounod (; ; 17 June 181818 October 1893), usually known as Charles Gounod, was a French composer. He wrote twelve operas, of which the most popular has always been ''Faust Faust is the protagonist 200px, Shakespeare's ''H ...

Charles Gounod
wrote that Mozart's ''Don Giovanni'' is "a work without blemish, of uninterrupted perfection." The finale, in which Don Giovanni refuses to
repent Repentance is reviewing one's actions and feeling contritionIn Christianity, contrition or contriteness (from the Latin ''contritus'' 'ground to pieces', i.e. crushed by guilt Guilt may refer to: *Guilt (emotion), an emotion that occurs when a p ...
, has been a captivating philosophical and artistic topic for many writers including
George Bernard Shaw George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950), known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, polemic Polemic () is contentious rhetoric Rhetoric () is the art Art is a diverse range ...

George Bernard Shaw
, who in ''
Man and Superman ''Man and Superman'' is a four-act drama written by George Bernard Shaw in 1903 in literature, 1903. The series was written in response to a call for Shaw to write a play based on the Don Juan theme. ''Man and Superman'' opened at the Royal Court ...
'' parodied the opera (with explicit mention of the Mozart score for the finale scene between the Commendatore and Don Giovanni).
Gustave Flaubert Gustave Flaubert ( , , ; 12 December 1821 – 8 May 1880) was a French novelist. Highly influential, he has been considered the leading exponent of literary realism Literary realism is a literary genre, part of the broader realism (arts), rea ...

Gustave Flaubert
called ''Don Giovanni'', along with ''
Hamlet ''The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark'', often shortened to ''Hamlet'' (), is a tragedy Tragedy (from the grc-gre, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a genre of drama Drama is the specific Mode (litera ...

Hamlet
'' and the sea, "the three finest things God ever made." E. T. A. Hoffmann also wrote a short story derived from the opera, "Don Juan," in which the narrator meets Donna Anna and describes Don Juan as an aesthetic hero rebelling against God and society. In some Germanic and other languages, Leporello's " Catalogue Aria" provided the name " list" for concertina-folded printed matter, as used for brochures, photo albums, computer printouts and other
continuous stationery Image:Continuous_form_paper_(14p875_x_11).jpg, upright=1.5, Continuous form paper sheet Continuous stationery (UK) or continuous form paper (US) is paper which is designed for use with Dot matrix printing, dot-matrix and line printers with appropria ...
. Playwright
Peter Shaffer Sir Peter Levin Shaffer (; 15 May 1926 – 6 June 2016) was an English playwright, screenwriter, and novelist. He wrote numerous award-winning plays, of which several were adapted into films. Early life Shaffer was born to a Jewish family in L ...
used ''Don Giovanni'' for a pivotal plot point in his play '' Amadeus'', a fictional biography of its composer. In it,
Antonio Salieri Antonio Salieri (18 August 17507 May 1825) was an Venetian classical period (music), classical composer, conductor, and teacher. He was born in Legnago, south of Verona, in the Republic of Venice, and spent his adult life and career as a subject ...

Antonio Salieri
notices how Mozart composed the opera while tortured after the death of his imposing father
Leopold Leopold may refer to: People * Leopold (given name) ;Crime * Nathan Leopold (1904–71), convicted of the kidnap and murder of Bobby Franks ;Literature * Aldo Leopold (1887–1948), American author, ecologist, forester, and environmentalist * J. H ...

Leopold
, and uses the information to psychologically torture Mozart even further.


''Don Giovanni'' and other composers

The sustained popularity of ''Don Giovanni'' has resulted in extensive borrowings and arrangements of the original. The most famous and probably the most musically substantial is the operatic fantasy, ''
Réminiscences de Don Juan ''Réminiscences de Don Juan'' (S. 418) is an opera Opera is a form of theatre in which music is a fundamental component and dramatic roles are taken by Singing, singers, but is distinct from musical theatre. Such a "work" (the literal tra ...
'' by
Franz Liszt Franz Liszt (; hu, Liszt Ferencz, link=no, in modern usage ''Liszt Ferenc'' ; 22 October 181131 July 1886) was a Hungarian composer, virtuoso A virtuoso (from Italian ''virtuoso'' or , "virtuous", Late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas ...

Franz Liszt
. The
minuet A minuet (; also spelled menuet) is a social dance Social dance is a category of dances that have a social function and context. Social dances are intended for participation rather than Concert dance, performance and can be Lead and follow, l ...
from the finale of act 1, transcribed by
Moritz Moszkowski Moritz Moszkowski (23 August 18544 March 1925) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also ...

Moritz Moszkowski
, also makes an incongruous appearance in the manuscript of Liszt's Fantasy on Themes from Mozart's ''Figaro'' and ''Don Giovanni'', and
Sigismond Thalberg, 1841. Sigismond Thalberg (8 January 1812 – 27 April 1871) was a composer and one of the most distinguished virtuoso A virtuoso (from Italian ''virtuoso'' or , "virtuous", Late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas serior) is the scholarly name ...
uses the same minuet, along with "", in his , Op. 42. "" also makes an appearance in the Klavierübung of
Ferruccio Busoni Ferruccio Busoni (1 April 1866 – 27 July 1924) was an Italian composer A composer (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken ...

Ferruccio Busoni
, under the title (
Variation Variation or Variations may refer to: Science and mathematics * Variation (astronomy), any perturbation of the mean motion or orbit of a planet or satellite, particularly of the moon * Genetic variation thumb File:Genetic Variation and Inhe ...
study after Mozart). wrote Variations on "Là ci darem la mano" (the duet between Don Giovanni and Zerlina) for piano and orchestra. and also wrote variations on the same theme. And Beethoven, in his ''
Diabelli Variations The ''33 Variations on a waltz by Anton Diabelli'', Op. 120, commonly known as the ''Diabelli Variations'', is a set of Variation (music), variations for the piano written between 1819 and 1823 by Ludwig van Beethoven on a waltz (music), waltz com ...
'', cites Leporello's aria "" in variation 22. The turkeys in
Chabrier Alexis-Emmanuel Chabrier (; 18 January 184113 September 1894) was a French Romantic Romantic may refer to: Genres and eras * The Romantic era, an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement of the 18th and 19th centuries ** Romantic ...

Chabrier
's "Ballade des gros dindons" (1889) finish each verse imitating the mandolin accompaniment of the Serenade.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky ( ; rus, Пётр Ильи́ч Чайко́вский,Петръ Ильичъ Чайковскій in Russian pre-revolutionary script. ; 7 May 1840 – 6 November 1893Russia was still using old style dates in the 1 ...

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
always regarded ''Don Giovanni'' – and its composer – with awe. In 1855, Mozart's original manuscript had been purchased in London by the
mezzo-soprano A mezzo-soprano or mezzo (; ; meaning "half soprano") is a type of classical Classical may refer to: European antiquity *Classical antiquity, a period of history from roughly the 7th or 8th century B.C.E. to the 5th century C.E. centered on the ...
Pauline Viardot Pauline Viardot (; 18 July 1821 – 18 May 1910) was a leading nineteenth-century French mezzo-soprano A mezzo-soprano or mezzo (; ; meaning "half soprano") is a type of classical Classical may refer to: European antiquity *Classical antiqui ...

Pauline Viardot
, who was the teacher of Tchaikovsky's one-time unofficial fiancée (whom Viardot may have persuaded not to go through with her plan to marry the composer). Viardot kept the manuscript in a shrine in her Paris home, where it was visited by many people. Tchaikovsky visited her when he was in Paris in June 1886,Alexander Poznansky, ''Tchaikovsky: The Quest for the Inner Man'', p. 460 and said that when looking at the manuscript, he was "in the presence of divinity".Abstract: 19th Century Music, Mark Everist
So it is not surprising that the centenary of the opera in 1887 would inspire him to write something honouring Mozart. Instead of taking any themes from ''Don Giovanni'', however, he took four lesser known works by Mozart and arranged them into his fourth orchestral suite, which he called ''Mozarti-ana, ana''. The baritone who sang the title role in the centenary performance of ''Don Giovanni'' in Prague that year was Mariano Padilla y Ramos, the man Désirée Artôt married instead of Tchaikovsky. Michael Nyman's popular, short band piece ''In Re Don Giovanni'' (1981, with later adaptations and revisions) is constructed on a prominent 15-bar phrase in the accompaniment to Leporello's catalogue aria. In addition to instrumental works, allusions to ''Don Giovanni'' also appear in a number of operas: Nicklausse of Jacques Offenbach, Offenbach's ''The Tales of Hoffmann'' sings a snatch of Leporello's "", and Gioachino Rossini, Rossini quotes from the same aria in the duettino between Selim and Fiorilla following the former's ''cavatina'' in act 1 of ''Il turco in Italia''. Ramón Carnicer's opera ' (1822) is a peculiar reworking of Mozart's opera to adapt it to Rossinian fashion. It comprises new music by Carnicer on a new text (e.g. the first half of act 1), new music on Da Ponte's text (e.g. Leporello's aria) or on a mixture of both (e.g. the new trio for the scene in the cemetery); the whole collated with extensive quotations or entire sections borrowed directly from Mozart (e.g. Finale 1 and Finale 2, and even some music from ''Le nozze di Figaro''), though usually slightly reworked and re-orchestrated.


See also

* List of operas by Mozart


Notes and references

Notes References Sources * * * * * *


Further reading

* Allanbrook, W. J. (1983). ''Rhythmic Gesture in Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni'' Chicago. (reviewed in Platoff, John. "Untitled." ''The Journal of Musicology'', vol. 4, no. 4 (1986). pp. 535–538). * Evan A. Baker, Baker, Even A. (1993): ''Alfred Roller's Production Of Mozart's Don Giovanni – A Break in the Scenic Traditions of the Vienna Court Opera''. New York University. * Baker, Felicity (2021) (edited by Magnus Tessing Schneider). ''Don Giovanni's Reasons: Thoughts on a masterpiece''. Bern: Peter Lang. * Lorenzo Da Ponte, Da Ponte, Lorenzo. ''Mozart's Don Giovanni''. Dover Publications, New York, 1985. (reviewed in G. S. "Untitled." ''Music & Letters'', vol 19, no. 2 (April 1938). pp. 216–218) * Goehr, Lydia; Herwitz, Daniel A. (2006). ''The Don Giovanni Moment: Essays on the Legacy of an Opera''. Columbia Press University, New York. * Kaminsky, Peter (1996). "How to Do things with Words and Music: Towards an Analysis of Selected ensembles in Mozart's Don Giovanni." ''Theory and Practice'' * Melitz, Leo (1921): ''The Opera Goer's Complete Guide'' * * Noske, F. R. "''Don Giovanni'': Musical Affinities and Dramatic Structure." ''SMH'', xii (1970), 167–203; repr. in ''Theatre Research'' viii (1973), 60–74 and in Noske, 1977, 39–75 * Julian Rushton, Rushton, Julian G. (1981). ''W. A. Mozart: Don Giovanni''" Cambridge. (reviewed in Sternfeld, F. W. "Untitled." ''Music & Letters'', vol. 65, no. 4 (October 1984) pp. 377–378) * Schneider, Magnus Tessing (2021). ''The Original Portrayal of Mozart's Don Giovanni''. Abingdon and New York: Routledge
OPEN ACCESS
* Schünemann, Georg and Soldan, Kurt (translated by Stanley Appelbaum) ''Don Giovanni: Complete orchestral and vocal score'' Dover 1974 * Alan Tyson, Tyson, Alan. "Some Features of the Autograph Score of ''Don Giovanni''", ''Israel Studies in Musicology'' (1990), 7–26


External links

*
Libretto
critical edition, diplomatic edition, source evaluation (German only), links to online DME recordings; Digital Mozart Edition *
Opera Guide
Synopsis (4 languages), libretto (German, English, Italian), highlights

Soundfiles (MIDI)

from Indiana University Bloomington
Synopsis and libretto
from Naxos Records
Libretto
Italian, English
Roles, arias, libretto (Italian, English)

San Diego OperaTalk! with Nick Reveles: ''Don Giovanni''
*

production photos, synopsis
Portrait of the opera in the online opera guide www.opera-inside.com
{{Use dmy dates, date=November 2019 Don Giovanni, Italian-language operas Drammi giocosi Operas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1787 operas Operas Operas set in Spain Works based on the Don Juan legend Operas adapted into films Rape in fiction