Dramma giocoso in two acts
Musical Direction: Philippe Jordan
Production: Barrie Kosky
Premiere 5. 12. 202
Don Juan is a figure which crosses boundaries: the boundary between the sexes, the boundary between the classes and the boundary between life and death showing that even cemetery walls don't stop him. He is said to have already loved 2065 women, 1003 in Spain alone, 640 in Italy, 231 in Germany and 100 in France. He is not only poaching in the Christian Occident, but also in the Orient where there were 91 in Turkey (his servant keeps a precise record of this).
In European literature, he has been on his ways since the Counter-Reformation, when around 1620 a Spanish monk recorded his legend in the comedia The Mockers of Seville and the Stone Guest. Quickly he penetrated the stage templates of the Italian commedia dell’arte as well as the classic French comedy. In Prague, Mozart and Da Ponte gave him his most impressive shape in their opera Don Giovanni or The Punished Libertine premiered there in 1787. The elements of farce, comic and tragic opera, in the low and high style, symphonic and sacred music, all occurring simultaneously lead into new virgin territory crossing borders of genre, right up to the rhythmic cacophony of the 1st Act Finale, with the three dance bands all playing at the same time, and to passages in which the chromaticism is driven even into atonal textures.
Giovanni is between all of these languages, he has no music of his own because he makes himself the object of projection for the women he desires: Donna Anna who was brought up in her father’s strict care and who seeks in him adventure; Donna Elvira who has escaped all ties, seeking and hoping to find in him emotional stability; and the lower-class girl Zerlina, who in his arms dreams of social advancement. The labyrinthine sequence of scenes in the opera is framed first by Giovanni’s murder of Donna Anna’s father and then his return from the dead as the "stone guest".
In the Catholic comedia, when Giovanni felt his end was approaching, he begged in vain to be allowed to confess. In the opera, it is the stone guest who wants to protect the rebel from eternal damnation by summoning him to repent – which he refuses. So, despite the fall into hell, it remains disputable who will be the inferior in this duel because the intellectual defiance of Giovanni is unbroken.
With this premiere production, the Vienna State Opera begins a new cycle of the Mozart-Da Ponte operas under the leadership of its musical director Philippe Jordan and directed by Barrie Kosky.
- Thu. 26 Jan 2023
- Sun. 29 Jan 2023
- Wed. 01 Feb 2023
- Fri. 03 Feb 2023
- Mon. 06 Feb 2023