Mozart's Don Giovanni

Vincent Huguet (stage director), Thomas Guggeis (conductor) — With Michael Volle (Don Giovanni), Elsa Dreisig (Donna Elvira), Slávka Zámečníková (Donna Anna) — Staatsoper Berlin

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Vincent Huguet — Stage director

Aurélie Maestre — Set designer

Clémence Pernoud — Costumes

Irene Selka — Lighting

Louis Geisler — Dramaturgy

Michael Volle — Don Giovanni

Slávka Zámečníková — Donna Anna

Bogdan Volkov — Don Ottavio

Peter Rose — The Commendatore

Elsa Dreisig — Donna Elvira

Riccardo Fassi — Leporello

David Oštrek — Masetto

Serena Sáenz — Zerlina

Staatsopernchor Berlin — Choir

Martin Wright — Chorus Master

Program notes

On 29th October 1787, the curtain of the National Theater in Prague rose upon the set of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, now regarded as one of the world’s greatest operatic masterpieces. Over two centuries later, the magic lives on in the Staatsoper Berlin’s spectacular adaptation under the musical direction of Thomas Guggeis! An all-star cast, including celebrated baritone Michael Volle as Don Giovanni and renowned sopranos Elsa Dreisig and Slávka Zámečníková as Donna Elvira and Donna Anna, breathe exhilarating life into the vision of stage director Vincent Huguet.

The opera revolves around the escapades of libertine seducer Don Giovanni, who attempts to court Donna Anna (Don Ottavio’s fiancée), Donna Elvira (a former, forgotten lover), and Zerlina (Masetto’s fiancée), with the help of his servant Leporello. Passion clashes with melodrama as the incorrigible protagonist blazes the path to his own demise by killing II Commendatore (Donna Anna’s father) in a duel. After dismissing the advice of II Commendatore’s ghost, Don Giovanni is forced to endure the consequences of his sinful behavior and perishes in the flames of Hell.

Termed an opera buffa by the composer himself, Don Giovanni is an outrageous blend of supernatural and comic, burlesque and tragedy. Drawing inspiration from Molière’s play Don Juan and the myth of Tirso de Molina, Mozart treads the musical crossroads of fantasy and reality with the guidance of Lorenzo Da Ponte’s libretto. From the thundering and imposing cadence of the Overture (composed during the night of October 28-29, 1787, the night before the first performance), to the mellifluous tone of the Dalla sua pace aria, Don Giovanni represents the best of classical opera— with Tchaikovsky remarking that he was “in the presence of divinity” upon seeing the original manuscript.

Photo: Michael Volle © Gisela Schenker

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