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Don Giovanni
Mozart


    by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


March 1, 2019 @ 7.30pm

March 3, 2019 @ 2:00pm

 

 

Main Stage, Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.

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Synopsis

Don Giovanni, a young nobleman, after a life of amorous conquests, meets defeat in his three encounters: with Donna Elvira, whom he has deserted but still follows him; with Donna Anna, whose father, the Commendatore, Giovanni kills in escaping from an unsuccessful attempt at rape and as a result postpones her marriage to Don Ottavio; and with Zerlina, whom he vainly tries to lure from her fiancÚ, the peasant Masetto. All vow vengeance on the Don and his harassed servant Leporello. Elvira alone weakens in her resolution and attempts reconciliation and hope that the Don reforms. Don Giovanni's destruction and deliverance to hell are effected by the cemetery statue of the Commendatore, who had accepted the libertine's invitation to supper.

ACT I

The garden of the Commendatore.
Leporello is keeping watch outside Donna Anna's house. Don Giovanni, Leporello's master, has crept into the house in order to seduce Donna Anna. Donna Anna appears, chasing a masked Giovanni. She wishes to know who he is and she cries for help. The Commendatore, Anna's father, appears and challenges Giovanni to a duel while Donna Anna flees for help. Giovanni stabs the Commendatore, kills him, and escapes unrecognized. Anna, upon returning with her fiancÚ, Don Ottavio, is horrified, and Don Ottavio swears to avenge his betrothed's father.

A public square outside Don Giovanni's palace.
Giovanni and Leporello arrive and hear a woman speaking of having been recently spurned and calling for revenge. Giovanni starts to flirt with her but, as she turns to look at him, recognizes her as a recent conquest, Donna Elvira. Realizing this, he shoves Leporello forward, ordering him to tell Elvira the truth, and then hurries away.

Leporello endeavours to console Elvira and unrolls a list of Don Giovanni's lovers. Comically, he rattles off their number and their country of origin: 640 in Italy, 231 in Germany, 100 in France, 91 in Turkey, and 1,003 in Spain. Elvira vows vengeance.

When she leaves, a marriage procession with Masetto and Zerlina enters. Don Giovanni and Leporello arrive soon after. Giovanni immediately is attracted to Zerlina, and he attempts to remove the jealous Masetto by offering to host a wedding celebration at his castle. On realizing that Giovanni means to remain behind with Zerlina, Masetto becomes angry. Don Giovanni and Zerlina are soon alone and he immediately begins his seductive arts.

Elvira arrives and thwarts the seduction, followed shortly by Ottavio and Anna who are plotting vengeance on the still unknown murderer of Anna's father, when they run into Giovanni. Anna, unaware that she is speaking to her attacker, pleads for his help. Giovanni readily promises it, and asks - with great concern - what cruel man would dare to disturb her peace; obviously, he still sees a chance with Anna. But the Don is out of luck again: Elvira returns and announces Giovanni's recent betrayal of her. Giovanni answers her reproaches by declaring to Ottavio and Anna that Elvira is insane. With Giovanni's departing oath to help find the Commendatore's murderer, Anna suddenly recognizes Giovanni as her seducer and also his murderer. Ottavio, not convinced, determines to keep an eye on his friend.

Leporello, still half-determined to leave, informs Don Giovanni that all the guests of the peasant wedding are in Giovanni's house, that he distracted Masetto from his jealousy, but that Zerlina's post-seduction return had spoiled everything. However, Don Giovanni remains cheerful and tells Leporello to organize a party. He hurries off to his palace.

Zerlina follows the jealous Masetto and tries to pacify him, but just as she manages to persuade him of her innocence, the Don's voice startles her, making her want to flee. Masetto's trust evaporating in an instant, the jealous groom hides and wants to see for himself what Zerlina will do when Giovanni arrives. In vain, Zerlina hides from the Don, but he continues the seduction before stumbling upon Masetto. Confused but quickly recovering, Giovanni claims Zerlina was very sad that Masetto was away from her, and he returns her temporarily. He then leads both to the bridal chamber, which has been lavishly decorated. Leporello has also invited three masked guests (the disguised Elvira, Ottavio, and Anna) who plan to catch Giovanni red-handed, if possible.

Ballroom.
As the merriment proceeds, Don Giovanni leads Zerlina away, while Leporello distracts Masetto. When Zerlina's cry for help is heard, Leporello dashes off to warn his master. Don Giovanni tries to fool the onlookers by dragging his servant into the room with drawn sword and accuses him of seducing Zerlina. Elvira, Ottavio and Anna unmask, claiming that they now know all. The guests do not believe Giovanni and attack him, but he fights his way through the crowd and escapes...

ACT II

Outside Elvira's house
Leporello threatens to leave Giovanni, but the Don calms him with a peace offering of money. Wanting to seduce Elvira's maid, Giovanni persuades Leporello to exchange cloak and hat with him. Elvira comes to her window. Seeing an opportunity for a game, Giovanni hides, sending Leporello out in the open dressed as Giovanni and, from his hiding place sings a promise of repentance, expressing a desire to return to her. Elvira is convinced and descends to the street. She thinks that Leporello (who is wearing his master's clothes) is actually Giovanni. Leporello leads her away to keep her occupied while Giovanni attempts to seduce her maid while accompanying himself on the mandolin.

Before Giovanni can complete his seduction of the maid, Masetto and his friends arrive, searching for Giovanni. Giovanni (dressed as Leporello) convinces the posse that he also wants Giovanni dead, and joins the hunt. After separating the group, Giovanni "confiscates" all the firearms and beats up the unarmed Masetto, then flees laughing. Zerlina arrives and consoles Masetto.

A dark courtyard.
Leporello abandons Elvira. As he tries to escape, Ottavio arrives with Anna, consoling her in her grief. Just as Leporello is about to slip through the door, which he has difficulty finding, Zerlina and Masetto open it and, seeing him in his Giovanni regalia, catch him before he can escape. When Anna and Ottavio notice what is going on all move to surround Leporello, threatening him with death. Elvira tries to protect the man whom she thinks is Giovanni, claiming that he is her husband and begging for pity. The other four ignore her, and Leporello removes his cloak to reveal his true identity. While everyone is so taken aback in the confusion, Leporello is able to escape. Given the circumstances, Ottavio is convinced of Giovanni's guilt and swears vengeance while Elvira is furious at Giovanni for betraying her.

A graveyard with the statue of the Commendatore.
Leporello tells Don Giovanni of his near-death experience, and Giovanni taunts him, throwing in a story of his own, one of a near-success with a woman in love with Leporello. But the servant is not amused, suggesting it could have been his wife, and Don Giovanni laughs aloud at his servant's protests. The voice of the statue warns Giovanni that his laughter will not last beyond sunrise. At the request of his master, Leporello reads the inscription upon the statue's base: "Vengeance here awaits my murderer." The servant trembles, but the unabashed Giovanni orders him to invite the statue to dinner, threatening to kill him if he does not. Leporello makes several attempts to invite the statue to dinner but for fear cannot complete the task. It falls upon Don Giovanni himself to complete the invitation thereby sealing his own doom. The statue nods its head and responds affirmatively.

Donna Anna's room.
Ottavio pressures Anna to marry him, but she thinks it inappropriate so soon after her father's death. He accuses her of being cruel, and she assures him that she loves him, and is faithful.

Don Giovanni's chambers.
Giovanni revels in the luxury of a great meal and musical entertainment, while Leporello serves. Elvira appears, saying that she no longer feels resentment for Giovanni, only pity. Surprised by her lack of hatred, Giovanni asks what it is that she wants, and there follows her desperate plea that he change his life. This is met only with one reply: "Brava!", as Giovanni taunts her and then ignores her, praising wine and women as the "essence and glory of humankind". Hurt and angered, Elvira gives up and leaves. A moment later, her scream is heard from outside the walls of the palace, and she returns only to flee through another door. Giovanni orders Leporello to see what has upset her; upon peering outside, the servant also cries out, and runs back into the room with the news that the statue has appeared as promised. An ominous knocking sounds at the door. Leporello, paralyzed by fear, cannot answer it, so Giovanni opens it himself, revealing the statue of the Commendatore. It exhorts the careless villain to repent of his wicked lifestyle, but Giovanni adamantly refuses. The statue sinks into the earth and drags Giovanni down with him. Hellfire surrounds Don Giovanni as he is carried below.

Donna Anna, Don Ottavio, Donna Elvira, Zerlina, and Masetto arrive, searching for the villain. They find instead Leporello under the table, shaken by the horrors he has witnessed and which he describes to the others. Since the conflict is over, Anna and Ottavio choose to wait until Anna's year of grieving is over before marrying; Elvira will spend the rest of her life in a convent; Zerlina and Masetto will finally go home for dinner; and Leporello will find a new master at a tavern.

The concluding chorus delivers the moral of the opera - So ends he who evil did. The death of a sinner always reflects his life.

 

 

Cast List

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Production Team

Artistic Director
TBA
Stage Director
TBA
Lighting Director
TBA
Stage Manager
TBA
Assistant Stage Manager
TBA
Construction manager
TBA
Costume Designer
TBA