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Playing: Wie schon leucht't uns der Morgenstern, from 2 Chorale fantasies Op.40 by Max Reger
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Mozart's Don Giovanni

3 hours, 30 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 27 November 2010

Young, arrogant, contemptuous and sexually voracious, Don Giovanni is the dissolute aristocrat who doesn't take no for an answer and leaves a trail of outrage and wrecked lives in his wake. But in the end, even he comes up against something he can't dupe, evade, or kill. One of the greatest (and most hummable) operas in the repertoire stars one of the UK's most exciting singers, Iain Paterson, in the title role, leading an outstanding cast, conducted by Kirill Karabits. Presenter Suzy Klein is joined by novelist Jeanette Winterson to discuss the multilayered music and the production by theatre director, Rufus Norris

Act 1

Interval Suzy Klein and novelist Jeanette Winterson continue their exploration of the opera's themes.

8.20 Act 2

Don Giovanni ..... Iain Paterson (bass)
Leporello ..... Brindley Sherratt (bass)
Donna Anna ..... Katherine Broderick (soprano)
Don Ottavio ..... Robert Murray (Tenor)
Donna Elvira ..... Rebecca Evans (soprano)
The Commendatore ..... Matthew Best (bass)
Masetto...John Molloy (bass)
Zerlina ..... Sarah Tynan (soprano)

Conductor ..... Kirill Karabits
Orchestra and Chorus of English National Opera.

  • Brindley Sherratt

    Brindley Sherratt

    © Donald Cooper

  • Iain Paterson, Katherine Broderick, Brindley Sherratt

    Iain Paterson, Katherine Broderick, Brindley Sherratt

    © Donald Cooper

  • Iain Paterson, Sarah Tynan

    Iain Paterson, Sarah Tynan

    © Donald Cooper

  • Iain Paterson, Sarah Tynan

    Iain Paterson, Sarah Tynan

    © Donald Cooper

  • Sarah Tynan

    Sarah Tynan

    © Donald Cooper

  • John Molloy, Sarah Tynan

    John Molloy, Sarah Tynan

    © Donald Cooper

  • Iain Paterson, Matthew Best

    Iain Paterson, Matthew Best

    © Donald Cooper

  • Synopsis

    Act I

    It is night, and Leporello is keeping watch while Don Giovanni makes love to Donna Anna. Giovanni appears, pursued by Anna; she runs away as her father, the Commendatore, arrives and challenges Giovanni to fight. In the scuffle which follows, Giovanni kills him. Anna returns with her fiancé Don Ottavio. Finding her father's body, she makes Ottavio swear to avenge his death.

    Giovanni and Leporello, who have fled from the scene of the crime, come across a distressed young woman. She turns out to be Donna Elvira, who has come from Burgos determined to find Giovanni. He had been her lover there, and abandoned her. Giovanni escapes her fury, leaving Leporello to recount to her Giovanni's extraordinary sexual catalogue.

    At Zerlina and Masetto's wedding, Giovanni is about to make off with the bride when Elvira intercepts him. Ottavio appears with Anna, seeking his friend Giovanni's help in searching for the Commendatore's murderer. Elvira again denounces Giovanni, arousing Ottavios suspicions. As Giovanni leaves, Anna tells Ottavio that she has recognized him as the murderer. Ottavio's vow of vengeance is renewed.

    Giovanni orders Leporello to lay on a huge party, celebrating the night to come with his explosive "Champagne Aria".

    Masetto's jealousy has been aroused; Zerlina attempts to calm him. Giovanni arrives, whipping up the party, in which both Zerlina and Masetto join. Anna, Ottavio and Elvira appear, masking themselves to appear disguised at Giovanni's party. Leporello invites them to join the dancing.

    At the party, Giovanni manoeuvres Zerlina away. When she calls for help, Giovanni puts the blame on Leporello and threatens to kill him. Anna, Ottavio and Elvira unmask and denounce Giovanni for his crimes. He refuses to be frightened by them.

    Act II

    Leporello threatens to leave Giovanni, but fails to do so. Giovanni forces Leporello to change clothes with him, leading Elvira to believe that Leporello is in fact her lost lover. Leporello makes love to Elvira, and Giovanni sings his own love song.

    Masetto arrives, searching for Giovanni, who promptly beats him up. Zerlina attempts to soothe Masetto's pain with the promise of love.

    In the darkness, Leporello is discovered by Anna, Ottavio, Zerlina and Masetto, who mistake him for Don Giovanni. Elvira pleads for mercy, but they are determined to kill him. Discovering that it is in fact Leporello, they capture him. Leporello pleads for his release. Ottavio takes charge of the situation, and promises that Giovanni will be punished.

    Leporello and Giovanni find one another again, and Giovanni tells Leporello his adventures. A voice threatens to silence their laughter. Giovanni points out a statue of the Commendatore, and forces Leporello to invite him to dinner. The voice answers "Yes".

    Ottavio promises Anna that Giovanni will soon be punished, and urges her to accept his love. She refuses him, but denies that she is being cruel.

    Leporello serves Giovanni his dinner. Elvira makes a last attempt to win back Giovanni, who mocks her; she runs away. A knocking is heard, and Leporello is terrified that the statue is approaching. The Commendatore appears, threatening Giovanni, who defies him.

    Ottavio, Anna, Elvira, Zerlina and Masetto arrive to take revenge on Giovanni. Leporello gives them his terrified version of what has occurred, and joins them in a final sextet, proclaiming the death of the delinquent.



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    Radio 3 Opera Guides

    Radio 3 Guide to the Opera

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