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"Il dissoluto punito, ossia il Don Giovanni," which translates to "The Rake Punished, or Don Giovanni," is a two-act opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with an Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. Mozart categorized it as an opera buffa, or comic opera, but it is often classified as a dramma giocoso, a mixture of serious and comedic action. It also incorporates supernatural elements, which are mirrored in the otherworldly and mysterious-sounding segments of the score.
Don Giovanni premiered in the Teatro di Praga in Prague on October 29, 1787. Like most of Mozart's work, the Prague audience enthusiastically received and acclaimed it (Mozart was said to have a special relationship with Prague, especially when the Viennese audience was less than supportive of his work). The opera was praised for its quality and innovation (for example, using three onstage ensembles performing in their own respective meters in the ballroom scene). To this day, Don Giovanni remains a standard in the comic opera repertoire; it is ranked as number seven on the Operabase list of the world's most-performed operas. Get your Don Giovanni tickets today to see this comic masterpiece performed live!Plot Synopsis:
Act I, Scene I: In the garden of the Commendatore, Leporello, servant to Don Giovanni, complains of his unpleasant servitude while he keeps watch as his master tries to seduce Donna Anna, the Commendatore's daughter. Giovanni and Anna appear, and when the Commendatore discovers that Giovanni is frightening his daughter, he challenges him to a duel. Anna flees before Giovanni kills the Commendatore and manages to escape with Leporello. When Anna returns with her fiance, Don Ottavio, they are shocked to see the Commendatore lying dead in a pool of his blood. The couple swears vengeance on whoever committed this wicked act.
Act I, Scene II: In the public square outside Giovanni's palace, Giovanni and Leporello encounter a woman, Donna Elvira, pledging revenge on a lover who has abandoned her. Giovanni begins flirting with her, but she discovers that he is the very scoundrel she is looking for, and he flees. Leporello tries to convince Elvira that Giovanni isn't worth her time, but she is resolute. She exits as the marriage procession of Masetto and Zerlina enters. Leporello enters with Giovanni, who immediately tries to get rid of Masetto by offering to throw him a wedding party at his castle. While Giovanni stays behind to seduce Zerlina, Elvira returns and takes Zerlina away, thwarting Giovanni's plan. Then, Anna and Ottavio enter, planning their revenge on the still unknown killer of the Commendatore. Relieved that he is still unrecognized, Giovanni offers to help them before going with Leporello to his palace. Zerlina enters, trying to comfort the jealous Masetto until they hear Giovanni approach. Giovanni continues seducing Zerlina but stops just in time when he discovers Masetto hiding nearby. He leads them both to his ballroom and invites three masked guests (Ottavio, Anna, and Elvira in disguise) to the celebration.
Act I, Scene III: At the party in Don Giovanni's ballroom, Leporello tries to distract Masetto by dancing with him as Giovanni leads Zerlina to a private room. When Zerlina yells for help, Giovanni tries to escape blame by implicating Leporello and threatening to kill him for attacking her. Just then, Ottavio reveals himself and points a gun at Giovanni. Faced with near certain death, Giovanni manages to escape his pursuers.
Act II, Scene I: Outside Elvira's house, Leporello says he is leaving Giovanni's service, but Giovanni pacifies him with a gift of money. Giovanni then convinces Leporello to switch clothes with him to that he can seduce Elvira's maid. After Leporello convinces Elvira that he is Giovanni and he wishes to come back to her, the pair leaves as Giovanni serenades the maid with his mandolin. Suddenly, Masetto arrives, intending to find and murder Giovanni. Disguised as Leporello, Giovanni pledges his support before getting Masetto alone, taking his weapons away, assaulting him, and running away, laughing. Zerlina enters to comfort and attend to Masetto.
Act II, Scene II: In a dark courtyard, Leporello tries to escape Elvira before Ottavio, Anna, Zerlina, and Masetto enter. When they discover the man they think to be Giovanni, they surround him, threatening him with death, while Elvira tries to protect him, begging for mercy. Leporello throws off his disguise and flees. Ottavio is now convinced that Giovanni is the Commendatore's murderer and Elvira, though enraged at being betrayed yet again, begins to feel pity for Giovanni.
Act II, Scene III: In a graveyard, Leporello finds Giovanni and tells him of the confrontation, but Giovanni laughs it off, saying that he used his disguise to try to seduce one of Leporello's girlfriends. Suddenly, a voice comes from a statue of the Commendatore, predicting doom for Giovanni. Unimpressed, Giovanni mockingly invites the statue to dinner.
Act II, Scene IV: In Anna's room, Ottavio tries to convince her to marry him, but she doesn't think it is appropriate to celebrate so soon after her father's death. He accuses her of being unkind, but she reassures him of her love and fidelity.
Act II, Scene V: Back in his palace, Giovanni basks in the glory of his opulent and carefree lifestyle. Elvira arrives, telling him that she no longer seeks revenge, but instead feels pity for him and entreats him to change his wicked ways. He laughs her off until she leaves, dejected. Just then, a scream is heard from outside the walls and Elvira runs through the palace to an alternate exit. Leporello investigates and also returns, stammering that the statue has arrived for dinner as scheduled. Giovanni answers the door and the statue of the Commendatore gives him one last chance to repent. He proudly refuses, so the statue sinks into the ground, dragging Giovanni to hell. Anna, Ottavio, Masetto, and Zerlina arrive and discover that the object of their revenge is dead. Anna and Ottavio plan to marry after a year of mourning for her father; Zerlina and Masetto finally go home to begin their life together; Elvira goes to live the rest of her years in a convent; and Leporello goes out in search of a better master.Run Time: Approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes Advisory: Due to length and format, recommended for teens and older. Creative Team: Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Italian Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte