Don Giovanni synopsis
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
First performed: 1787
It is night, and Leporello is keeping watch while Don Giovanni makes love to Donna Anna. Giovanni appears, pursued by Anna; she runs away as her father, the Commendatore, arrives and challenges Giovanni to fight. In the scuffle which follows, Giovanni kills him. Anna returns with her fiancé Don Ottavio. Finding her father's body, she makes Ottavio swear to avenge his death.
Giovanni and Leporello, who have fled from the scene of the crime, come across a distressed young woman. She turns out to be Donna Elvira, who has come from Burgos determined to find Giovanni. He had been her lover there, and abandoned her. Giovanni escapes her fury, leaving Leporello to recount to her Giovanni's extraordinary sexual catalogue.
At Zerlina and Masetto's wedding, Giovanni is about to make off with the bride when Elvira intercepts him. Ottavio appears with Anna, seeking his friend Giovanni's help in searching for the Commendatore's murderer. Elvira again denounces Giovanni, arousing Ottavios suspicions. As Giovanni leaves, Anna tells Ottavio that she has recognized him as the murderer. Ottavio's vow of vengeance is renewed.
Giovanni orders Leporello to lay on a huge party, celebrating the night to come with his explosive "Champagne Aria".
Masetto's jealousy has been aroused; Zerlina attempts to calm him. Giovanni arrives, whipping up the party, in which both Zerlina and Masetto join. Anna, Ottavio and Elvira appear, masking themselves to appear disguised at Giovanni's party. Leporello invites them to join the dancing.
At the party, Giovanni manoeuvres Zerlina away. When she calls for help, Giovanni puts the blame on Leporello and threatens to kill him. Anna, Ottavio and Elvira unmask and denounce Giovanni for his crimes. He refuses to be frightened by them.
Leporello threatens to leave Giovanni, but fails to do so. Giovanni forces Leporello to change clothes with him, leading Elvira to believe that Leporello is in fact her lost lover. Leporello makes love to Elvira, and Giovanni sings his own love song.
Masetto arrives, searching for Giovanni, who promptly beats him up. Zerlina attempts to soothe Masetto's pain with the promise of love.
In the darkness, Leporello is discovered by Anna, Ottavio, Zerlina and Masetto, who mistake him for Don Giovanni. Elvira pleads for mercy, but they are determined to kill him. Discovering that it is in fact Leporello, they capture him. Leporello pleads for his release. Ottavio takes charge of the situation, and promises that Giovanni will be punished.
Leporello and Giovanni find one another again, and Giovanni tells Leporello his adventures. A voice threatens to silence their laughter. Giovanni points out a statue of the Commendatore, and forces Leporello to invite him to dinner. The voice answers "Yes".
Ottavio promises Anna that Giovanni will soon be punished, and urges her to accept his love. She refuses him, but denies that she is being cruel.
Leporello serves Giovanni his dinner. Elvira makes a last attempt to win back Giovanni, who mocks her; she runs away. A knocking is heard, and Leporello is terrified that the statue is approaching. The Commendatore appears, threatening Giovanni, who defies him.
Ottavio, Anna, Elvira, Zerlina and Masetto arrive to take revenge on Giovanni. Leporello gives them his terrified version of what has occurred, and joins them in a final sextet, proclaiming the death of the delinquent.
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