Mozart's Don Giovanni
Tonight's Opera on 3 is a new production of Mozart's ever-popular Don Giovanni recorded last month at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Mariusz Kwiecien sings the charismatic seducer who meets his match in the ghost of the man he kills, and Véronique Gens, Malin Bystrom and Elizabeth Watts sing the women who get drawn helplessly into his net.
Louise Fryer presents, and talks to director Kasper Holten about his interpretation of Mozart and Da Ponte's characters, and what hell means to a contemporary audience.
Don Giovanni ..... Mariusz Kwiecien (Baritone)
Leporello ..... Alex Esposito (Bass)
Commendatore ..... Alexander Tsymbalyuk (Bass)
Donna Elvira ..... Véronique Gens (Soprano)
Donna Anna ..... Malin Bystrom (Soprano)
Don Ottavio ..... Antonio Poli (Tenor)
Zerlina ..... Elizabeth Watts (Soprano)
Masetto ..... Dawid Kimberg (Baritone)
Royal Opera House Chorus
Royal Opera House Orchestra
Nicola Luisotti (Conductor).
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Don Giovanni, a Spanish nobleman, is renowned throughout Europe as a seducer of women; Leporello, his servant, reluctantly aids him by keeping watch. Giovanni attempts to leave the house of Donna Anna, his most recent conquest; he kills Anna’s father the Commendatore when the Commendatore tries to stop him. Anna tells her fiancé, Don Ottavio, that she was raped by an unknown man and they vow revenge on the murderer.
Leporello’s attempts to persuade his master to reform are interrupted by Donna Elvira, a former mistress of Giovanni’s, who is travelling to look for him. Giovanni leaves it to Leporello to explain the extent of his master’s womanizing.
Masetto and his bride Zerlina are to be married at a peasant wedding, but Giovanni sets himself to seduce Zerlina. Elvira interrupts and foils Giovanni’s attempt. Ottavio and Anna appeal to Giovanni for help in their pursuit of the murderer of Anna’s father. Elvira again interrupts and warns Ottavio and Anna about Giovanni’s true nature; Anna tells Ottavio that Giovanni is the man who murdered her father.
Leporello discusses with Giovanni the plans for the masque ball his master is hosting that evening. Zerlina assures Masetto that Giovanni has not touched her. Elvira joins forces with Ottavio and Anna; they are going to the ball and intend to exact vengeance on Giovanni. While everyone is dancing at the ball Giovanni attempts to ensnare Zerlina, but she rallies all behind her to try to entrap Giovanni. All accuse him, but he and Leporello elude them once more.
Hoping for success with Elvira’s maid, Giovanni exchanges clothes with Leporello, who is instructed to lure Elvira away. Giovanni is interrupted by Masetto, who is intent on killing him, but his disguise is successful and he beats Masetto up and escapes.
Returning with Elvira, Leporello is mistaken for Giovanni by Anna, Ottavio, Zerlina and Masetto. Removing his disguise, Leporello convinces them that he is not the guilty one. Ottavio swears vengeance on Giovanni whom, in spite of everything, Elvira continues to love.
Giovanni hears the voice of the Commendatore, whom he killed, warning Giovanni of impending retribution. Giovanni orders Leporello to invite the ghost to supper. The ghost of the Commendatore accepts Don Giovanni’s invitation and arrives to send him to hell.