Defined by Wagner as “the opera of all operas,” Mozart’s Don Giovanni is a pillar of burlesque Italian opera and bel canto more broadly! Inspired by Baroque writer Tirso de Molina’s fictional character ‘Don Juan’, Venetian librettist Lorenzo da Ponte transposed the libertine archetype into the frame of dramma giocoso (literally ‘drama with jokes’) thanks to Mozart’s music. This genre, stemming from the Neapolitan opera tradition, lies halfway between opera seria and opera buffa, finishing with a tragic finale: one need only name the Commendatore to recall the infernal flames engulfing Don Giovanni, worthy of the most striking Dantean descriptions!
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The greatest artists of our day perform Don Giovanni, K. 527 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Considered by Wagner as the “opera of operas,” Mozart’s Don Giovanni, along with The Magic Flute, is the opera that most influenced the composers of Romanticism, thanks to its mix of comic and dramatic elements. Stylistically, Don Giovanni strikes a perfect balance between seriousness and lightness, as proven by the way da Ponte classifies his libretto: dramma gioioso (“drama with jokes”). The licentiousness of the main character of Mozart’s opera is counterbalanced by the statue of the Commendatore, who restores order and morality as a deus ex machina of the Greek theater. Isn’t Don Giovanni’s refusal to repent of his sins perhaps a modern echo of Aeschylus’ Capaneus, punished by the gods for his hubris? Rediscover this timeless masterpiece, staged by the best performers of our times—such as Cecilia Bartoli, Juan Diego Flórez or Joyce Di Donato—and streamed on best classical music platform: medici.tv!