Don Giovanni

Wolgang Amadeus Mozart

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Be seduced by Mozart’s most infamous antihero

Part of Fatal Passions

Be tantalised by this lively production as Don Giovanni, opera’s most compelling antihero, goes on a quest for hedonistic thrills. As he seduces his way across Europe, bedding 1003 women in Spain alone, the unrepentant Don Giovanni resorts to despicable violence until his infatuated conquests and vengeful victims join forces in a bid for justice.

A fast-unfolding, urgent plot, mixes broad comedy with tense drama. Mozart’s sublimely beautiful, spine-tingling music stands in stark contrast with the cruelty of his deeply ambiguous Lothario. Alessandro Talevi’s eclectic, time-travelling production brings fresh insights to this, Mozart’s darkest, craziest, opera.

Price
From £15 to £75*

Running time
Approximately 3 hours

Language
Sung in Italian with English titles

*Prices vary by venue. Booking fees may apply.

Cast

William Dazeley

Don Giovanni

Alastair Miles

Leporello

Jennifer Davis

Donna Anna

Nicholas Watts

Don Ottavio

Elizabeth Atherton

Donna Elvira

Kathryn Rudge

Zerlina

Ross McInroy

Masetto

James Platt

Commendatore

Creative Team

Christoph Altstaedt (except 14, 16, 21, 23 March)

Conductor

Matthew Kofi Waldren (14, 16, 21, 23 March)

Conductor

Alessandro Talevi

Director

Madeleine Boyd

Set and Costume Designer

Matthew Haskins

Lighting Designer

Victoria Newlyn

Choreographer

What the critics say

“Vocally, they [William Dazeley and Alastair Miles] are a fine match…the Opera North orchestra plays thrillingly…”

 The Guardian (2012) – Full Review ›

“Director Alessandro Talevi’s imagination, wit and audacity meant that Don Giovanni was a huge success…enthralling throughout…”

 Bachtrack (2012) – Full Review ›

Synopsis

Leporello is waiting for his master, Don Giovanni, who is inside the house of the Commendatore, intent on seducing his daughter, Donna Anna. There are sounds of a struggle; Donna Anna and a masked Don Giovanni appear. The Commendatore is woken by the commotion and is killed as he fights with Don Giovanni. The murderer escapes. Anna and her betrothed, Don Ottavio, swear to avenge her father’s death.

Giovanni encounters Donna Elvira, whom he has previously seduced and promised to marry. She has travelled far in pursuit of him. Giovanni slips away, leaving Leporello behind to recount his master’s sexual exploits.

Giovanni comes across a group of villagers celebrating the wedding of Zerlina and Masetto. Taking an immediate fancy to the bride, Giovanni orders Leporello to get the groom and his guests safely out of the way by taking them to his house to be entertained. Giovanni is making good progress with Zerlina when Elvira interrupts him. She persuades the girl not to succumb.

Anna and Ottavio encounter Giovanni but fail to recognize him. He tries to convince them that Elvira, who has returned to denounce him, is insane. As he leaves, Anna realizes the identity of her assailant and her father’s murderer.

Giovanni is still determined to seduce Zerlina, and orders big celebrations at his house. During the festivities, three masked guests appear: Ottavio, Anna and Elvira, who have come to confront their enemy. As the guests dance, Giovanni whirls Zerlina away. Her cries for help are heard from outside the room. The three maskers reveal themselves and publicly denounce Don Giovanni.

Fed up with the life he is forced to lead, Leporello is about to quit Don Giovanni’s service; but a bribe persuades him to stay. Giovanni has set his sights on Donna Elvira’s maid and, to assist his intentions, he makes Leporello swap clothes with him. When Elvira herself appears at her window, he uses the disguised Leporello as a decoy to lure her away. Giovanni’s serenade is interrupted by Masetto, who is out seeking his blood. Pretending to be Leporello, he beats him up. The battered Masetto is comforted by Zerlina.

Leporello is trying to lose Elvira in the darkened streets. Mistaken by everyone for Giovanni, Leporello confesses to the deception, to the stunned amazement of all. A wretched Elvira is forced to admit to herself that she still loves Giovanni, despite his misdeeds.

Giovanni and Leporello meet in a graveyard where the Commendatore is buried. They are interrupted by the sound of the dead man’s voice. Defiantly, Giovanni asks the statue of the Commendatore to come dine with him. The statue accepts.

Ottavio tries to persuade Anna to marry him soon, but she is unable to return his love while she is still in mourning for her murdered father.

Giovanni is having supper when Elvira arrives, begging him to repent. He rejects her entreaties and she storms out. She is heard to scream, and Leporello goes to investigate. He sees the statue of Commendatore, who has accepted Giovanni’s invitation to dinner.

The Commendatore tells his host that his time on earth is almost up and urges him to repent. Giovanni refuses, and the Commendatore leaves him to face his damnation.

It is left for a terrifed Leporello to tell the others what has occurred.

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