EVENING SHOWS June 22 | June 29 | July 7 | July 12
SUNDAY MATINEES June 24 | July 15
Don Giovanni, ossia Il dissoluto punito; K. 527
(Don Giovanni, or The Libertine Punished)
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
A Dramma giocosa in two acts
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte
First performance: Prague; National Theatre, October 29, 1787
Performed in Italian with English supertitles above the stage
Don Giovanni has been called the greatest opera ever written - a judgment made mostly on the basis of the sublime music that Mozart penned for a libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte. This is theatre that transcends 18th century stage conventions to strike at the soul of modern man with a tale of love, lust and violence combined with humor and charm. Mozart recreates the legend of a profligate Spanish nobleman for whom life is a collection of empty amorous conquests and who faces his final moments proud and unrelenting in the face of eternal damnation. Seen previously in the 10th and 25th Anniversary years, this magnificent score returns to the stage fifteen years later for Des Moines Metro Opera’s 40th Anniversary Season.
(In order of vocal appearance)Leporello, servant to Don GiovanniDonna Anna, betrothed to Don OttavioDon Giovanni, a licentious noblemanThe Commendatore, father of Donna AnnaDon Ottavio, a noblemanDonna Elvira, a lady from BurgosZerlina, a peasant girlMasetto, a peasant
Peasants, Servants and Demons
Conductor:Stage Director:Associate Conductor:Assistant Stage Director:Chorus Master:Musical Preparation:Set Designer:Andrew BoyceCostume Supervisor:Lighting Designer:Make-Up/Hair Designer:Costumes:Choreographer:Stage Combat Director:
Cast, production and opera are subject to change without notice.
SETTING: Spain, 17th Century
Leporello waits outside the Commendatore’s palace for his master Don Giovanni, who is inside trying to seduce Donna Anna. Giovanni rushes out, pursued by Anna, who cries for help against the unknown intruder. Her father, the Commendatore, comes to her aid, but Giovanni kills him in a duel and flees. Donna Anna demands that Don Ottavio, her betrothed, swear vengeance on the intruder.
Nearby, Leporello pleads with Giovanni to reform, but he is already flirting with a traveler. She turns out to be Donna Elvira, one of his past conquests who has been pursuing him. Leporello distracts Elvira by reciting the list of his master’s seductions while Giovanni escapes. A group of peasants is celebrating the wedding of Zerlina and Masetto. Giovanni immediately takes an interest in Zerlina and orders Leporello to take everyone into his palace to continue the party. Elvira interrupts his wooing and spirits Zerlina away, then warns Anna and Ottavio not to trust Giovanni.
Alone with Ottavio, Anna relates the details of her struggle and realizes that Giovanni was the man who attacked her and murdered her father. Zerlina begs Masetto to forgive her and they go into Giovanni’s palace. Elvira, Anna and Ottavio enter the palace in disguise, spying on Giovanni. Leporello distracts Masetto as his master ushers Zerlina into another room. When she cries out for help, Giovanni names Leporello as her attacker. Anna, Ottavio and Elvira reveal themselves and denounce Giovanni, who again escapes.
Outside the inn where Donna Elvira is staying, Giovanni exchanges cloaks with Leporello as part of his plan to seduce Elvira’s maid. Giovanni lures Elvira down to the street and, mistaking servant for master, Elvira lets the disguised Leporello lead her off while Giovanni serenades her maid. Anna, Ottavio, Zerlina and Masetto come upon the disguised Leporello and Elvira. They threaten him, but he reveals his identity and escapes.
Leporello and Giovanni reunite in a cemetery. They hear a voice coming from the statue of the slain Commendatore, warning Giovanni of his impending doom. Giovanni laughs and insists that Leporello invite the statue to dinner. It accepts, much to their surprise. At Giovanni’s dinner, Elvira begs him to reform, but he dismisses her. The Commendatore’s statue arrives and again warns Giovanni to repent. He refuses and plummets into hell. The other characters arrive and Leporello explains what has happened. They all announce their plans for the future, then sing the moral of the tale: “Those who do evil come to an evil ending.”