Premiere and Reception
Based on the popular fictional character Don Juan, Don Giovanni derives its roots from the classical music of Prague. During the late 17th century, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had a successful tour of Prague and there he began to compose the opera. Don Giovanni was commissioned to perform on the visit of niece of Emperor Joseph II, Maria Theresa of Austria. But due to incomplete music arrangements, it couldn’t be performed.
Don Giovanni made its public debut in October 1787 in Prague and received a warm commercial and critical reception. Mozart was lauded for his ingeniously crafted melodies and interpretation of the characters. After a few performances, the opera became a theatrical sensation and its popularity spread across the borders. Don Giovanni premiered in Vienna in 1988 with some additional changes in the score. This production was also headed by Mozart and was equally praised. The opera went through many changes with the passage of time but it remained a standard among the operas of its kind.
About the Opera
Don Giovanni is known for its inventive and extensive instrumentation which combines brass, horns, trumpets, percussion, strings, violins and various other instruments. The opera is divided into two acts and the score changes from being smooth to edgy as the story proceeds. The orchestral finale of the opera is typically significant in terms of its impact.
Don Giovanni tells the story of an arrogant and unethical nobleman who takes pleasure in abusing people associated with him. Filled with malice and outrage, he uses people for his own good and then dumps them until he comes across a situation where he fails to dodge something which he encounters. Drama, action and wit are perfectly mixed in this engaging opera which is amusing as well as enlightening.
A genius of choral, symphonic and chamber music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is among the most prolific and widely popular musicians of the great classical era. His earnest repertoire includes more than 600 operatic and classical works that are largely considered as the cornerstones of modern opera. An adept keyboardist and violinist, Mozart began composing at five and rose to fame by the time he was seventeen. Throughout his career and life, he traveled to various destinations and gave a new dimension to the classical music with his prodigious set of works. Mozart is often cited as one of the greatest influence on modern operatic and symphonic music.
Don Giovanni in Recent Times
The influence of Don Giovanni on the world opera scene remained evident throughout the 19th and 20th century. In 1979, a French-Italian film based on the original opera was also released which met with high commercial and critical acclaim. Besides this screen adaption, live performances of the opera are staged at orchestra houses and halls around the world. Don Giovanni tickets have always been in demand by the music lovers and it continues to be a symbol of excellence in live entertainment. Centuries have gone by but it is still one of the finest operas ever composed.