Don Giovanni (Opera)

Updated June 26, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Archive Photos
Music:Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto:Lorenzo da Ponte
Premiere:Prague, October 29, 1787

One of the most praised operas, Don Giovanni combines high drama with comedy to illustrate the escapades and eventual fiery end of the mythical womanizer. As the story opens, Don Giovanni steals away from Donna Anna's house, but she pursues him. The commotion alarms her father, the Commendatore, who duels with and is killed by Don Giovanni. He sets off again with his servant, Leporello, and meets the grieving Donna Elvira, who loves him although he has betrayed her. Making a quick exit, he next encounters a lively bunch of peasants, among them the pretty Zerlina and her clumsy fiancé, Masetto. Wily Don Giovanni spirits Zerlina away, but her enraged scream alerts the suspicious Masetto, and the Don is unmasked as a seducer and murderer. He escapes, only to be confronted later by a statue of the murdered Commendatore, who extends an icy grip to drag an unrepentant Don Giovanni to the depths of hell.

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