VIDEO: Get A First Look At DON GIOVANNI at The Met Opera
Baritone Peter Mattei and bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni star as opera's most notorious seducer in Mozart's masterpiece of dark comedy. Cornelius Meister makes his Met debut conducting performances that also include sopranos Rachel Willis-Sørensen and Guanqun Yu as Donna Anna, sopranos Federica Lombardi and Susanna Phillips as Donna Elvira, and basses Ildar Abdrazakov and Adam Plachetka as Leporello.
Get a first look at the production below!
World premiere: National Theater (now Estates Theater), Prague, 1787. Aided by his ingenious librettist, Lorenzo Da Ponte, Mozart approached his operatic retelling of the Don Juan myth from a point of view that is neither tragic nor entirely comic, but rather lighthearted, urbane, and ironic. We follow the title character and his earthy comic sidekick, Leporello, through a series of encounters that begins with a fatal duel, moves back and forth between the humorous and the sentimental, and ends with the protagonist being dragged down to hell.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) was the son of a Salzburg court musician who exhibited him as a musical prodigy throughout Europe. His achievements in opera, in terms of beauty, vocal challenge, and dramatic insight, remain unsurpassed. Librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte (1749-1838), who led an adventurous life in Venice and Vienna, also collaborated with Mozart on Le Nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte. He later emigrated to America, where he served as the first professor of Italian at New York's Columbia College (now University).
The city of Seville in southern Spain, which likely inspired Mozart's setting for Don Giovanni, was already famous in his time as a mythical world of winding streets, hot-blooded young men, and exotically beautiful women sequestered behind latticed windows. The Met's production places the action in an unnamed Spanish city in the mid-18th century.
Mozart's score teems with the elegance and grace that marks his entire output, which is evident from the first measures of the ravishing overture. This combination of musical refinement and extraordinary dramatic expression makes Don Giovanni one of the longest enduring and universally beloved works in the standard repertoire.