"Leave the women alone? You're mad! Leave the women alone? You know that they are more necessary than the bread I eat! Than the air I breathe!" (Act 2, Scene 1)

Preview

Language: 
Italian (Subtitles : French and English)
Duration: 
3 hrs
Intermission: 
1

Summary

In his Memoirs, composer Charles Gounod tells of his first experience with Don Giovanni, the operatic masterpiece by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte: “From the very beginning of the overture, I felt myself transported… to a completely new world… Thus enveloped in the double embrace of the beautiful and the terrible, I murmured the following words: Oh mother, what music! This truly is music, to be sure!” This opera is indeed remarkable for its combination of comedy and seriousness, darkness and light, serenity and violence. It is no wonder that people could read into it the precursors of ideas that would lead to the French Revolution just two years after its premiere…

Multimedia

Musical excerpts

Don Giovanni - Musical excerpts

A libertine at large...

Photos

Don Giovanni -Stage photos

Crédit : Yves Renaud 

Videos

Don Giovanni - TV ad

Designing by Brad and making by Les Enfants.

Podcasts

Don Giovanni - Podcast

In French

Videos

Don Giovanni - What makes Mozart’s music so wonderful?

Videos

Don Giovanni - The role of Don Ottavio

Videos

Don Giovanni - What a cast!

Videos

Don Giovanni - A young cast

Videos

Don Giovanni - An exceptional artistic team

Videos

Don Giovanni - Why has the subject remained so relevant?

Videos

Don Giovanni - Why did you choose this opera?

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Don Giovanni - Backstage

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Don Giovanni - Excerpts

Videos

Don Giovanni - Cast

Videos

Don Giovanni seen by ICI ARTV

Composer

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  >

Even before reaching adulthood, Mozart had already made his opera debut with the Latin intermezzo Apollo and Hyacinth (1767), followed by the opera buffa The Pretended Simpleton (1769). With his prodigious ability for assimilation, he put the music he heard during his European tours to good use. In Milan, he composed his first opera seria, Mitridate (1770), which was a great success and led to the commission of a second opera seria, Lucio Silla (1772).

Stage Director

David Lefkowich  >

David Lefkowich is an accomplished stage director who has enjoyed success with several companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Gran Teatre del Liceu...

Synopsis

  • Act 1

    Leporello, servant to Don Giovanni, bemoans his destiny. His master and Donna Anna emerge from the palace struggling, as she tries to identify the man who has attempted to seduce her. Her father, the Commandant, challenges the seducer to a duel... the Don kills him. Anna returns with her fiancé, Don Ottavio, who swears to avenge her father’s death. Donna Elvira, abandoned wife of Don Giovanni, looks for her husband. The Don manages to slip away, leaving her with Leporello.

    A group of peasants celebrate the wedding of Masetto and Zerlina, whom Don Giovanni tries to seduce. Donna Elvira arrives and warns the girl of the Don. Anna and Ottavio then enter and ask Don Giovanni to help find the Commandant’s assassin. Elvira begs them not to trust him. Don Giovanni tells Elvira she is foolish before chasing her away. When he takes his leave, Anna suddenly realizes that Don Giovanni is the man who attacked her.

    Leporello has led the wedding celebration into the garden. Looking forward to the prospect of new conquests, Don Giovanni sings of his happy pursuit of love. Zerlina begs her fiancé’s forgiveness. When the Don appears, Masetto’s jealousies flare up again. In order to trap the seducer, Anna, Elvira and Ottavio, in masks, also come to the party. The Don succeeds in leading Zerlina into his quarters. When she calls out for help, the three in dominoes unmask and threaten their host, who manages to get away.

  • Act 2

    Don Giovanni serenades Elvira but then leaves Leporello in his place and goes off to seduce her maid. He is soon interrupted by Masetto and a band of armed peasants who have decided to kill Don Giovanni. Disguised as Leporello, the Don sends them off in the wrong direction and, remaining alone with Masetto, he assaults him before escaping. Zerlina rushes over to tenderly console her fiancé. Confronted by Anna, Ottavio, Zerlina and Masetto, who want their revenge, Leporello reveals his true identity before fleeing in outrage. When Anna leaves, Ottavio again sings of his passionate love for her.

    In a graveyard, the Don and Leporello exchange recent experiences when, suddenly, they hear a voice from beyond the grave. When they discover that it is coming from the statue of the Commandant, Don Giovanni forces Leporello to invite the statue to dinner. The statue accepts the invitation. In her quarters, Anna begs Ottavio to wait until she is out of mourning and her father’s death has been avenged before marrying her. Elvira tries once more to reform her husband. The statue arrives and also asks Don Giovanni to repent. He refuses and is subsequently pulled into hell. Witnessing the disappearance of Don Giovanni, everyone gathers for the moral of the story: “The death of a sinner always reflects his life!”