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2023

January

Thu
05 Jan 2023

Sat
07 Jan 2023

Tue
10 Jan 2023

Sat
14 Jan 2023

Tue
17 Jan 2023

Thu
19 Jan 2023

Sat
21 Jan 2023

Wed
25 Jan 2023

Sat
28 Jan 2023

February

Thu
02 Feb 2023

Thu
09 Feb 2023

Fri
17 Feb 2023
Venue

Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point, Sydney

Language

Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Running time

Approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes, including one interval.

Production sponsors

Philip Bacon Galleries Logo

MML logo

He’s mad. He’s bad. He’s dangerous. But damn him to hell, his serenades are divine.

It’s the last day of Don Giovanni’s life, but he doesn’t know that.

For opera’s own Casanova, it’s just another day of pleasure seeking. Seducing a bride on her wedding day. Breaking into a woman’s bedroom in the dead of night. Killing her furious father.

Even before the curtain rises, Mozart reveals Don Giovanni’s fate. An earthshattering chord from the orchestra signals the gates of hell clanging open. The scoundrel’s debauched days are at an end.

When he hears a voice from beyond the grave, warning of impending punishment, Don Giovanni has no fear. Half-mocking, half-earnest, he invites the statue of the man he’s just killed to dinner.

Sir David McVicar’s production reveals the darkness in opera’s most compelling anti-hero. His Don Giovanni is a psychological thriller on a grand scale.

Monumental sets place the story in a gothic underworld inspired by the catacombs of Vienna. Monochromatic period costumes feature stunning embroidery. Can the characters keep their morals as tightly buttoned?

Cast & Creative

Conductor
Guillaume Tourniaire (5–25 Jan )
Paul Fitzsimon (28 Jan–17 Feb )
Director
Revival Director
Set & Costume Designer
Lighting Designer
Choreographer
Don Giovanni
Leporello
Donna Anna
Sophie Salvesani (5–25 Jan)
Celeste Lazarenko (28 Jan–17 Feb)
Donna Elvira
Bronwyn Douglass (5–25 Jan)
Jane Ede (28 Jan–17 Feb)
Don Ottavio
Zerlina
Masetto
Commendatore

Opera Australia Chorus
Opera Australia Orchestra

Don Giovanni 2020, Sydney Opera House

Cheat Sheet: Don Giovanni

Here's everything you need to know about Mozart's hit opera.

What happens in the story? Who was the composer? What should I expect from the music?

Read the cheat sheet
Don Giovanni set design by Robert Jones

Designing a dark world for Don Giovanni

Here are just a few glimpses of the world of shadows Designer Robert Jones has designed for this production.

See the designs

 

Covid Safe logo

Keeping you safe at the theatre

COVID Safety

Our performances will comply with all Public Health Orders and adhere to our epidemiologist-approved COVID-Safe Plan.

Find out more

Synopsis

ACT 1

In the dead of night, Leporello, servant to Don Giovanni waits impatiently outside the palace of the Commendatore. His master has stolen inside, attempting to seduce Donna Anna, the Commendatore’s daughter. Don Giovanni suddenly rushes out of the palace, Donna Anna in pursuit, trying to unmask her assailant. Her father appears, sword in hand and challenges the intruder. As Donna Anna runs for help, Don Giovanni fights with and kills the Commendatore. He and Leporello slip away as Donna Anna returns with her betrothed, Don Ottavio. They swear an oath of vengeance over the dead body of her father.

As dawn breaks, Don Giovanni and Leporello roam the streets of Seville. Don Giovanni senses the approach of a woman and they hide. Donna Elvira, a lady from Burgos, seduced and abandoned by Don Giovanni has come to Seville in search of him. Not recognising her at first, Don Giovanni makes an approach. She furiously accuses him but Don Giovanni manages to slip away into the night, leaving Leporello to explain his master’s true nature. He shows her a book, the catalogue of Don Giovanni’s innumerable conquests and leaves her crushed and humiliated. Donna Elvira swears to have revenge on Don Giovanni.

In a village near Don Giovanni’s palace, the peasants are celebrating the marriage of Zerlina and Masetto. Don Giovanni appears and immediately sets his sights on the bride. He orders Leporello to conduct the whole company to his palace to continue the celebrations but detains Zerlina by his side, to Masetto’s jealous fury. Alone with the peasant girl, he attempts to seduce her but is interrupted by the appearance of Donna Elvira, who denounces him and snatches Zerlina from his arms. Don Giovanni angrily makes after them but is distracted by the arrival of Donna Anna and Don Ottavio, both in mourning. Unable to recognise her assailant of the night before, Donna Anna appeals to Don Giovanni for aid in hunting down her father’s killer. Once more Elvira appears and desperately tries to convince them that Don Giovanni is a hypocritical deceiver. Her emotion gets the better of her when Don Giovanni accuses her of being a madwoman and she leaves in tears. Don Giovanni sets off after her, bidding Donna Anna farewell. Something in his voice betrays him and Donna Anna recognises the murderer of her father. She accuses him to Don Ottavio and furiously demands that he take revenge. Don Ottavio resolves to seek out the truth before taking such action.

Leporello has had a hard time entertaining the peasants, who are now roaming drunkenly round the palace and he complains bitterly to Don Giovanni when he arrives home. To further complicate matters, Donna Elvira has appeared with Zerlina in tow and he has had to skilfully manipulate her out of the palace and lock the doors. Don Giovanni is delighted that Zerlina has not yet evaded him and commands Leporello to organise a lavish ball for that evening.

In the palace gardens, Zerlina is pleading with Masetto. She asks him to punish her if he cannot believe in her innocence. Just as Masetto is won over, Don Giovanni approaches with servants. To test Zerlina’s fidelity, Masetto hides, leaving her alone to face Don Giovanni. He attempts once more to seduce her, pulling her towards the very spot where Masetto is hidden. Thwarted again, he can barely control his anger and commands the two peasants into the palace ballroom, where musicians can already be heard playing. Donna Elvira appears with Don Ottavio and Donna Anna, all of them masked. They mean to enter the palace in disguise and discover the true nature of Don Giovanni. Leporello spots them from a window and Don Giovanni bids them welcome to the ball.

In the ballroom, Don Giovanni and Leporello entertain their guests. Zerlina and Masetto fear the worst. The three maskers enter and are greeted warmly by their host, who commands the orchestra to strike up once more. As the musicians play aristocratic and peasant dances alike, Don Giovanni steals away from the room with Zerlina. Her sudden screams halt the dancing and Masetto runs desperately after his bride. Don Ottavio, Donna Elvira and Donna Anna cry for help and Don Giovanni appears, threatening Leporello, accusing him of assaulting Zerlina. The maskers reveal their identities and accuse Don Giovanni in turn. As a thunderstorm breaks over the palace roof, Don Giovanni is undaunted and unrepentant.

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