Don Giovanni

Anna, Elvira and Zerlina are the Don’s latest victims who band together to stop his unrepentant abuse of women. Hailed as Mozart’s greatest opera, Don Giovanni is set on the last day in the life of the infamous seducer and murderer, Don Juan. Opera Carolina brings to life Mozart’s Prague masterpiece with an original production featuring creative new sets and costumes.

Synopsis

Don Giovanni is a dramatic comedy in two acts composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It premiered in Prague in 1787. The opera is generally regarded as one of the greatest works in all of opera.

ACT I

Leporello, servant to Don Giovanni, keeps watch outside the Commendatore’s home at dawn. The Commendatore’s daughter, Anna, rushes out, struggling with the masked Giovanni, who has sneaked into her bedroom and ravaged her. The angry Commendatore challenges Giovanni to a duel and is killed. The traumatized Anna tells her fiancé́, Ottavio to swear that he will avenge her father’s death.

Looking for his next conquest, Giovanni encounters Elvira, who he vowed to marry and abandoned. Leporello shows her his little black book with the names of every woman his master has seduced – more than 1,000 in Spain alone.

Peasants celebrate the marriage of Masetto and Zerlina, who has caught the Don’s eye. He uses his status as a nobleman to entice the young girl, promising to marry her. His attempt at seduction is stopped by Elvira, who urges Zerlina to ignore his advances. She also warns Anna, who is still unaware that Giovanni killed her father. As he leaves, Anna recognizes the voice of the man who killed her father. Shaken at the thought of a nobleman being a rapist and murdere, she is determined to avenge her father and her honor. Giovanni, who has invited Zerlina and Masetto to his villa for the wedding party, prepares for an evening of drinking and dancing – his real objective is to seduce Zerlina.

Anna, Elivira and Ottavio also arrive at the wedding feast, but masked to conceal their identities. In the ballroom, Giovanni dances with Zerlina, then tries to drag her into the adjoining room. When she cries for help, Giovanni accuses Leporello of being the aggressor. Anna, Elvira, and Ottavio remove their masks and with Zerlina and Masetto, accuse Giovanni, who manages to escape.

ACT II

Unshaken by the evening’s events, the Don pursues another conquest – Elvira’s maid.  To get into Elvira’s house, he convinces her has repented and has returned to her.  He orders Leporello to exchange cloaks with him and lead Elvira on a walk, while her serenades the maid. When Masetto arrives with a group of peasants to track down Giovanni, the Don, pretending to be Leporello, attacks Masetto. Zerlina finds her wounded fiancé́ and comforts him.

Later that night, Leporello (whom Elvira still believes to be Giovanni) is surprised by Anna, Ottavio, Zerlina and Masetto, who all denounce the Don. Fearing for his life, Leporello reveals his true identity before making his escape.

Late at night, Giovanni and Leporello happen upon the statue of Anna’s father, the Commendatore. Miraculously, the statue comes to life and warning Giovanni to change his ways. Laughing at what he assumes is a clever trick, Giovanni forces the terrified Leporello to invite the statue to dinner. The statue accepts.

Ottavio tries to console Anna, but the trauma of the morning’s assault by the Don and the death of her father make his attempts futile.  She tells Ottavio that she will not marry him until her father’s death has been avenged.

Well past midnight, the Don is enjoying a sumptuous banquet and music from the most popular operas of the day.  Elvira arrives and begs him one final time to change his life.  The callous Don laughs at her and toasts wine, women and song. The statue of the Commendatore enters, having accepted the Don’s invitation to dinner. He invited Giovanni to come with him to his own banquet and commands the Don to repent. He accepts the statue’s invitation and takes his hand, only to be dragged through the gates of Hell to receive his final reward.

 

Production

James Meena

Music Director and Conductor

Eve Summer

DIRECTOR

Michael Baumgarten

Lighting

Emily Urbanek

Director of Music preperation

Martha Ruskai

Wig and Makeup Designer

Valerie Wheeler

Production Stage Manager