Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart defined the genre of his Don Giovanni as dramma giocoso, that is, or humorous drama. Unless considered as a term for a specific genre, it is a perfect oxymoron. Indeed, Don Giovanni contains more mysteries and contradictions than any other opera. It mixes together fancy and reality, masks and real faces, sensitivity and cold moral admonition. It is hard to understand where one of the oppositions ends and the other begins. Mozart and his librettist Lorenzo da Ponte created Don Giovanni for Prague, where it premiered in 1787. The local audiences greeted Mozart’s new work with a frenzy. The subsequent production in Vienna did not have such an enthusiastic response. The Emperor Joseph II noticed that “…this is no treat for my Viennese…”. He could hardly have imagined then that the attempts to unravel Don Giovanni would be endless. Today, two and a half centuries after its premiere, Mozart’s Don Giovanni remains an unsolved operatic enigma.
Premiere at the SND Music Theatre