What is the story, synopsis of Mozart’s Don Giovanni Opera? Information about Don Giovanni opera.
Don Giovanni; is an opera in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with a libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte. It was first performed on Oct. 29, 1787, in Prague, with Mozart conducting. Da Ponte was present at the opera’s American première, in New York City, on May 23, 1826.
Don Giovanni is based on the story of the notorious Don Juan Tenorio. It is not certain that this person ever existed, but tales of his amorous adventures were circulating even before the appearance of the play El burlador de Sevilla ( 1630 ). Molière and Goldoni also wrote plays on Don Juan, as did Mozart’s contemporary Giovanni Bertati, whose work was turned into an opera by Giuseppe Gazzaniga shortly before Mozart wrote his version.
Don Giovanni is a triumphant fusion of tragic and comic elements—Mozart’s own designation, “dramma giocoso” (“merry drama”), is extraordinarily apt. The opera, whose appeal is universal, reveals an astonishing variety of human emotions, frailties, and philosophies. It is a long work with many scene changes, but because of the flashing contrasts of comic and tragic, dark and light, sublime and frivolous, audience interest never slackens.
Musically, Don Giovanni is so rich in superlative inspiration that most listeners agree with Richard Wagner’s judgment that every passage in the opera is perfect. Among the oustanding 20th century interpreters of the title role have been Victor Maurel, Maurice Renaud, Antonio Scotti, Ezio Pinza, and Cesare Siepi.
The Story: Don Giovanni takes place about the middle of the 17th century. In the first scene, the licentious Don is compelled to make a hasty retreat from the Commendatore’s palace, where he has failed in his attempted seduction of Donna Anna, the Commendatore’s daughter. Challenged to a duel by the Commendatore, the Don slays the gallant old man and escapes, then immediately embarks on an adventure with the fetching peasant girl Zerlina. This affair is thwarted, however, by the unexpected appearance of Donna Elvira, an early and steadfast flame of Giovanni’s, who does not want Zerlina to fall victim to the Don’s perfidious ways. The Don invites the townspeople to a feast in his palace, hoping that there he will have an opportunity to complete his conquest. Zerlina, however, resists him, and her screams attract the guests, among them Donna Anna, her suitor Don Ottavio, and Donna Elvira —all in disguise. Giovanni fails to divert their suspicion to his rascally servant Leporello and is forced to fight his way through the angry crowd.
In Act II, Don Giovanni meets Leporello in a cemetery, where the statue of the dead Commendatore suddenly speaks, demanding silence. Giovanni, undaunted, orders his frightened servant to invite the statue to dinner that evening. To the Don’s consternation and Leporello’s absolute horror, the statue nods his acceptance. A few hours later, the Don is enjoying a sumptuous meal to the accompaniment of gay music. He turns a deaf ear to Elvira’s plea that he mend his ways. Suddenly, amid terrifying sounds, the statue enters and in sepulchral tones orders Giovanni to repent his sins. Giovanni refuses, whereupon flames engulf the house and the seducer is dragged into hell. The opera ends with the other principals rejoicing in his fate.