The season, day by dayback to calendar
Dramma giocoso in 2 acts
Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
1st performance of 2nd edition May 7th 1788, k.k. National Court Theatre, Vienna
Sung in Italian with German surtitles. c. 3 hrs & 20 mins, including 1 interval
Don Giovanni Sebastian Geyer / Daniel Schmutzhard / Iurii Samoilov
Leporello Simon Bailey / Kihwan Sim
Donna Anna Guanqun Yu / Jessica Strong
Donna Elvira Juanita Lascarro / Karen Vuong
Don Ottavio Michael Porter / Martin Mitterrutzner
Zerlina Cecelia Hall / Nina Tarandek
Masetto Iurii Samoilov / Brandon Cedel
Commendatore Magnús Baldvinsson / Andreas Bauer
Which art form could be more suitable to convey sensual lust and fear than music? Don Giovanni or Don Juan, the name of his Spanish prototype, has become the embodiment of an erotic hero. The list of his female victims is almost endless. But men are deceived by him too.
The drama begins and ends at dawn. Don Giovanni overpowers Donna Anna and kills her father the Commendatore when he comes to see what all the commotion is about. In Christof Loy's production the look in the dying man's eye triggers off a realisation process in Don Giovanni. He sees himself in his victim. During the last hours of his life he is haunted by doppelgängers. While he behaves just as he likes, seducing one woman after the other, he is powerless against death – the only thing he refuses to do, is repent.
Don Giovanni overpowers Donna Anna. Her father, the Commendatore, appears and is killed by Giovanni. Donna Anna did not recognise the intruder in the dark. She discovers the body and demands that Don Ottavio, her fiancé, take revenge. Dawn The next woman to cross Giovanni's path is Donna Elvira, a young aristocrat he married and deserted. He flees, leaving her with his servant Leporello, who explains that Giovanni is a driven man, in Spain alone he has slept with 1003 women... Morning Giovanni is now taken with Zerlina, a country lass about to marry Masetto. Intending to indulge one of the privileges afforded the aristocracy he orders Masetto to leave him alone with Zerlina. He tries to seduce her, promising marriage. Zerlina is confused, even more so when Elvira appears and asserts her rights to Giovanni. Anna & Ottavio ask Giovanni to help them find the murderer. When Elvira intervenes again and Giovanni tries to stop her, Anna realises that he is the murderer. She confides in her fiancé, telling him about the assault in her room. Ottavio promises to help her find peace of mind again. Evening Giovanni has ordered that a feast be prepared. Zerlina & Masetto are invited. Masetto, suspecting Zerlina of being unfaithful, is hurt. She cannot convince him of her love for him. When Giovanni approaches her again, Masetto is livid. Anna, Elvira & Ottavio have entered into a pact. They wear masks to the feast, revealing their identities when Zerlina tries to prevent Giovanni from raping her. But he escapes again. Act 2 A few hours later. Giovanni feels uneasy. He orders Leporello to swap clothes with him. Elvira has dropped the role of avenger and now seeks only love. She embraces Leporello and is caressed by Giovanni's voice. She disappears into darkness with a man also longing for love: Leporello. Masetto has mobilised his friends to find Giovanni and beat him up. Giovanni, passing himself off as Leporello, separates the gang. Alone with Masetto, he thrashes him. Zerlina finds her terrified bridegroom, convincing him that she loves only him. After midnight Leporello wants to stop playing this game with Elvira and vanish but his escape is foiled by Masetto, Zerlina, Ottavio & Anna. Taking him for Giovanni, they intend to kill him. He reveals his true identity. Their confusion is heightened when they realise that Elvira has spent the night with the »fake« Giovanni. Only Zerlina is determined to bring Leporello to justice instead of Giovanni, who now seems to be becoming almost a figment of their imagination. Masetto, feeling sorry for Leporello, lets him escape. Elvira feels compassion for Giovanni. 2am in a graveyard Giovanni swaps clothes again with Leporello, ordering him to invite the Commendatore to dinner. Giovanni looks the Commendatore in the eye, is gripped by terror and leaves. Anna relives memories of last night, but Ottavio comforts her. Just before dawn Giovanni awaits the Commendatore. Elvira, sensing Giovanni needs her, does not want to leave. The Commendatore appears, asking Giovanni if he regrets his way of life. Giovanni, refusing to bow to anyone, or the next world, realises he cannot escape death. Sunrise Leporello says the devil came for his master. Everyone tries to understand what has happened during the last 24 hours and grasp what roles they played in this game of life and death.