Simon & Alessandro


18 February 2009

Don Giovanni

Introduction “Il dissoluto punito ossia il Don Giovanni” better known as “Don Giovanni” is an opera in two acts with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The Italian libretto was written by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It was premiered in the Estates Theatre in Prague on October 29 in 1787.

Short summary

Picture of Don Giovanni by Max Slevogt

Don Giovanni, a womanizer with lots of affairs, tries to seduce Donna Anna in her house. She cries for help. Anna`s father, the Commendatore, appears and challenges Giovanni to a duel. Giovanni kills Anna`s father and manages to escape without beeing discovered. During the marriage procession of Masetto and Zerlina, many of Giovanni's affairs are there too. All of a sudden Anna recognizes Giovanni as the seducer and the father`s murderer. The guests attack Giovanni. He fights his way through the crowd and quits the celebration. Leporello threatens to leave Giovanni, but his master calms him with a great offer of money. Giovanni implores Leporello to exchange cloak and cap with him. The people capture Leporello, because they mistake him for Giovanni, but Leporello is finally able to escape. During a discussion between Leporello and Giovanni they hear a voice from the Commendatore's statue which warns Giovanni that he eventually will be caught. Leporello reads the inscription of the statue's base: "Vengeance here awaits my murderer." Giovanni smiles and orders Leprello to invite the statue to dinner. One evening the statue knocks on the door, Giovanni opens the door. The statue wants Giovanni to repent of his behaviour, but Giovanni refuses. While sinking into the earth, the statue drags Giovanni down. Hell fire surrounds Don Giovanni as he is carried below.


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In the end the chorus tells us the moral of the opera: “So ends he who evil did. The death of a sinner always reflects his life". The opera treated the Don Juan theme. Don Juan is the prime example of a womanizer like Don Giovanni is. The legend of Don Juan is much older than Don Giovanni, it is a very common theme of the time. Revenge is a main theme in this opera. Anna and the others wants to avenge the Commendatore during the whole play. In the end they are successful. The battle between good and evil is another issue which lances through the whole story. Egoism that we see in Don Giovanni's character.

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