When to see it
These events are part of the Summer 2018 season.
The impulsive, charismatic Don Giovanni is a serial seducer, accompanied by his long-suffering servant Leporello. But when Don Giovanni commits murder, he unleashes a dark power beyond his control.
Don Giovanni continues to seduce and betray with his usual rapacity. Haunted by the ghost of the murdered man, he decides to invite him to dinner. The ghost urges him to repent – but Don Giovanni refuses.
Don Giovanni is the second of Mozart’s landmark collaborations with librettist Lorenzo da Ponte (after The Marriage of Figaro and before Così fan tutte). In it they created a work that has beguiled and entranced in equal measure since its premiere in 1787. Perfectly situated, as no other opera, between tragedy and comedy, this potent drama combines glorious music with a seductive central character who is endlessly fascinating in his complexity.
Kasper Holten’s 2014 production for The Royal Opera casts Don Giovanni as an artist who thrives on an audience enticed by his creative gifts. Ink blots splatter across the visually spectacular set by award-winning designer Es Devlin, with ingenious video designs by Luke Halls. But at the production’s heart are the beauty and invention of Mozart’s dazzling score.
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Don Giovanni (Italian pronunciation: [dɔn dʒoˈvanni]; K. 527; complete title: Il dissoluto punito, ossia il Don Giovanni, literally The Rake Punished, namely Don Giovanni or The Libertine Punished) is an opera in two acts with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It is based on the legends of Don Juan, a fictional libertine and seducer. It was premiered by the Prague Italian opera at the Teatro di Praga (now called the Estates Theatre) on 29 October 1787. Da Ponte's libretto was billed, like many of its time, as dramma giocoso, a term that denotes a mixing of serious and comic action. Mozart entered the work into his catalogue as an opera buffa. Although sometimes classified as comic, it blends comedy, melodrama and supernatural elements. A staple of the standard operatic repertoire, Don Giovanni is currently tenth on the Operabase list of the most-performed operas worldwide. It has also proved a fruitful subject for writers and philosophers.