The history of the opera “Don Giovanni” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart creation

"Don Giovanni" is the greatest opera ever written. At least three persons, whose opinion in this area should be taken into consideration, wholeheartedly supported this thesis. They were Gioachino Rossini Charles Gounod and Richard Wagner.

The plot is based on the ancient legend of Don Giovanni- a daring adventurer, bold and clever seducer of women. Originated in the Medieval Spain, this legend has become widely known in many European countries. The plot was first processed by the Spanish dramatist Tirso de Molina (1571–1648), subsequently attracted many writers, including Molière and Carlo Goldoni. In the 19th century Lord Byron, Hoffman, Alexander Pushkin, Prosper Mérimée and others turned to the image of Don Giovanni. The musicians were also repeatedly using this theme - the ballet “Don Giovanni” by Christoph Gluk was staged in Vienna in 1761. A number of operas on the same plot is known. In these works, the legend of Don Giovanni received a different interpretation. In some of them, having a religiously instructive coloring Don Giovanni was described as a criminal, brutal voluptuary, who received the deserved retribution. However, often the attractive features - courage, wit, the eternal search for the ideal, honor and courageous rebellion against the outdated moral standards were emphasized in his scenic image.

After the colossal success of “The Marriage of Figaro” in Prague, Mozart received an order from the Prague Theater for a new opera. The choice of the composer fell on the plot of "Don Giovanni". He began composing music in May 1787, the premiere was held in Prague on October 29 the same year. For the Vienna production (May 7, 1788) the author inserted some changes in the music. The libretto, written by Lorenzo Da Ponte (1749–1838) in Italian, had comic features. However, the music of Mozart draw the opera beyond comedy. The composer created a remarkably deep work, full of great passions and sharp collisions of the characters.

Don Giovanni by Mozart is a complex, multifaceted image. Condemning his hero to death, the composer, at the same time, poeticizes, ennobles his image: his Don Giovanni is courageous, charming, full of infinite vital energy. The rest characters of the opera – Leporello, the inseparable companion of Don Giovanni, is admiring his master and blaming him at the same time. Proud Donna Anna, passionate Donna Elvira, flirty Cerlin, Ottavio, Mazetto – they all occupy the subordinate position. Their actions, thoughts and feelings are connected with the actions of Don Giovanni.

Henry W. Simon, M. Druskin
Source: Belcanto. ru