Don Giovanni - Michigan Opera Theatre

Overview

An all-time favorite returns! Legendary lover. Sadistic manipulator. Cold-blooded villain. Has there been a more irrepressible scoundrel than Don Juan? Mozart’s legendary opera follows Giovanni as he deceives his way into the hearts of women and taunts the men who love them. When an attempted conquest ends in murder, Giovanni receives a ghostly visitor who delivers retribution.

Fast Facts

Opera in two acts
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
Premiered 1787 in Prague

This production
Conducted by Christopher Allen
Directed by John Pascoe
Sung in Italian with English titles
Run time is about 2’ 55” plus intermission

Artists

Daniel Okulitch

Don Giovanni

Ellie Dehn

Donna Anna

Nicole Cabell

Donna Elvira

Matthew Burns

Leporello

Geoffrey Agpalo

Don Ottavio

Ricardo Lugo

The Commendatore

Avery Boettcher
SA

Zerlina

Allen Michael Jones
SA

Masetto

John Pascoe

Director

Christopher Allen

Conductor

Synopsis

Act I

Spain, mid-18th century. Leporello, servant to the nobleman Don Giovanni, keeps watch outside the Commendatore’s home at night. Suddenly, the Commendatore’s daughter, Donna Anna, rushes out, struggling with the masked Giovanni and followed by her father. The Commendatore challenges Giovanni to a duel and is killed. Giovanni and Leporello escape. Anna asks her fiancé, Don Ottavio, to avenge her father’s death.

In the morning, Giovanni and Leporello encounter one of Giovanni’s former conquests, Donna Elvira, who is devastated by his betrayal. Leporello tells her she is neither the first nor the last woman to fall victim to Giovanni and shows her his catalogue with the name of every woman Giovanni has seduced.

Peasants celebrate the marriage of Masetto and Zerlina. Giovanni flirts with the bride, telling her she is destined for a better life. But Elvira urges Zerlina to flee her suitor. She also warns Anna, who is still unaware of the identity of her father’s murderer and has asked Giovanni for help in finding the man. Giovanni, for his part, insists that Elvira is mad, and Anna and Ottavio wonder what to believe. As Giovanni leaves, Anna suddenly recognizes his voice as that of the murderer. Devastated but determined, she once more asks Ottavio to avenge her. He wonders how to restore her peace of mind. Giovanni, who has invited the entire wedding party to his home, looks forward to an evening of drinking and dancing.

Outside Giovanni’s home, Zerlina asks Masetto to forgive her. Giovanni enters and leads them both inside. Anna, Elvira, and Ottavio appear masked and are invited in by Leporello. In the ballroom, Giovanni dances with Zerlina, then tries to drag her into the adjoining room. When she cries for help, Giovanni blames Leporello. Anna, Elvira, and Ottavio take off their masks and, along with Zerlina and Masetto, accuse Giovanni, who is momentarily surprised but manages to slip away.

Act II

Having exchanged clothes with Giovanni, Leporello takes Elvira on a nighttime walk, leaving his master free to serenade her maid. When Masetto arrives with a band of peasants to hunt down Giovanni, the disguised Don sends them off in various directions, then beats up Masetto. Zerlina finds her bruised fiancé and comforts him.
Later that night, Leporello—still believed by Elvira to be Giovanni—is surprised by Anna, Ottavio, Zerlina, and Masetto, who all denounce the supposed Don. Fearing for his life, Leporello reveals his true identity before making his escape. Ottavio proclaims that he will take revenge on Giovanni and asks the others to look after Anna. Elvira thinks about Giovanni, whom she still loves in spite of everything.

In a cemetery, Giovanni and Leporello meet the statue of the Commendatore, who warns Giovanni that by morning he will laugh no longer. Giovanni forces the terrified Leporello to invite the statue to dinner. The statue accepts.

Once again, Ottavio asks Anna to marry him, but she replies that she will not until her father’s death has been avenged.

Elvira arrives at Giovanni’s home. She makes a last desperate attempt to persuade him to change his life, but he only laughs at her. The figure of the Commendatore enters and asks Giovanni to repent. When he boldly refuses he is consumed by flames. Elvira, Anna, Ottavio, Zerlina, Masetto, and Leporello appear, contemplating their futures and the fate of an immoral man.

Videos

Audio

Images

Additional Resources

Fall 2019 Opera Season Bravo

Sponsors

View All

News/Blog

Reviews: Sweeney Todd

Brigitte, Windsor – “This was a WONDERFUL performance. I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did…. Thank you MOT for bringing this to Detroit.”

Read More
Opera v. Musical Theater: The Case for Sweeney Todd

One way to make opera-lovers cringe is to tell them that The Phantom of the Opera is their favorite opera. The show features a classical singing style...

Read More
Reviews: Don Giovanni

What makes it really excellent is the extraordinary arias, duets, trios and ensemble pieces that Mozart crafted for this work and that are so beautifully and forcefully rendered by the MOT artists. Go see this one. You will not be disappointed.

Read More
Defining Donna Elvira: Nicole Cabell on the Strength and Humanity of One of Don Giovanni’s Most Complex Characters

Nicole Cabell discusses her approach to her staple role and why Donna Elvira is anything but mad.

Read More

Fast Facts

Opera in two acts
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
Premiered 1787 in Prague

This production
Conducted by Christopher Allen
Directed by John Pascoe
Sung in Italian with English titles
Run time is about 2’ 55” plus intermission

Sponsors

Additional Resources

Fall 2019 Opera Season Bravo