Don Giovanni


Approximate Running Time: 3 hours and 10 minutes, with 1 intermissions

In Italian with English captions

What's Going On?

Don Giovanni is the most famous lover in the world, but his servant Leporella often grumbles about his master’s amorous adventures, which are leading both men into serious trouble.

At the Commendatore’s palace, his daughter Anna is attacked by the masked Giovanni. When the Commendatore himself answers his daughter’s cries, he is killed in a duel by Giovanni, who escapes. Finding her father dead, Donna Anna makes her fiancé Ottavio swear vengeance on the unknown assassin.

Donna Elvira, a woman that Giovanni once seduced in Burgos, is tracking the Don through Spain. Giovanni sees her at an inn and, not immediately recognizing her, starts up a flirtation. Recoiling once he realizes who she is, the Don escapes when Leporello distracts Elvira by reciting his master’s long list of conquests: 640 in Italy, 230 in Germany, 100 in France, 91 in Turkey, and 1003 in Spain!

Next, Giovanni spots the lovely peasant bride Zerlina and her wedding party. The Don flirts with Zerlina while Leporello intercepts the fuming groom Masetto. Alone with Zerlina, the Don is ready to begin his seduction when Elvira interrupts and pulls Zerlina away. Anna and Ottavio arrive to enlist Giovanni’s assistance in finding the Commendatore’s murderer. The persistent Elvira warns them not to trust Giovanni and tells them about her own seduction. Declaring Elvira mad, the Don leads her away. Anna recognizes Giovanni’s voice as that of masked man who killed her father and tells Ottavio that Giovanni was her attacker.

Despite the setbacks, Giovanni plans a party at his palace so he can complete his seduction of Zerlina. Elvira, Anna, and Ottavio arrive at the feast in cloaks and masks. During the festivities, Leporello pulls Masetto into a dance as Giovanni draws Zerlina out of the room. Zerlina alarms everyone at the party with her cries for help. Giovanni blames his servant for the attack on the girl and offers to kill Leporello on the spot, but nobody is fooled. Elvira, Anna, and Ottavio unmask and confront Giovanni, but he manages to escape once again.

His seduction of Zerlina thwarted, Giovanni decides to pursue Elvira’s maid. Leporello advises his master to stop these pursuits and even threatens to depart, but is soon bribed by the Don into aiding him. Leporello exchanges cloaks with Giovanni and distracts Elvira, leaving the Don free to serenade Elvira’s maid. When Masetto passes with a band of armed peasants bent on punishing Giovanni, the disguised rake tricks them and then beats up Masetto.

Still wearing Don Giovanni’s cloak and mask, Leporello is busy flirting with Elvira when the two are surprised by Anna, Ottavio, Zerlina, and Masetto. Mistaking the servant for the master, they threaten to kill him. The frightened Leporello reveals who he really is and then flees. Realizing that she has been betrayed again by Giovanni, Elvira voices her rage and love for the wily Don.

Beneath the monument to the slain Commendatore, Leporello catches up with his unrepentant master. As the Don relates another conquest, he receives a stern rebuke from the statue. Leporello is terrified, but Giovanni tells his servant to invite the statue to dinner. To Leporello’s horror, the statue accepts the invitation.

Back at his palace, Giovanni enjoys his supper, despite Leporello’s misgivings. When Elvira arrives to plead with the Don to repent, he sings of the delights of wine and women. Elvira departs, only to be heard screaming of a stone statue striding up to the palace. The statue arrives in his hall and the Don politely invites it to sit and enjoy a meal with him. In return, the statue offers its hand to Giovanni. The Don takes the statue’s hand and, defiant to the last, is dragged down to hell as a punishment for his sins.

When the others arrive with the police, they find only the frightened Leporello, who tells them what has happened. Donna Anna agrees to marry Ottavio after a year of mourning, Donna Elvira decides to retire to a nunnery, and Leporello promises to find a better master. They all agree that Don Giovanni’s end was just as bad as his life.

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