Synopsis:

Don Giovanni 

Act I

Leporello, servant to the nobleman Don Giovanni, keeps watch in a dark hallway of the Commendatore’s home while his master is spending some hours of guilty pleasure with the Commendatore’s daughter, Donna Anna. Immediately we find ourselves in her bedroom. Anna is beside herself with rage for Giovanni wants to leave her in the middle of the night and tries to stop him. The libertine mocks her and Anna already regrets ever having given into the Don’s persuasiveness. Suddenly the Commendatore enters, challenges Giovanni to a duel and is killed. Giovanni and Leporello escape. Anna asks her fiancé, Don Ottavio, to avenge her father’s death.

In the morning, Giovanni and Leporello encounter one of Giovanni’s former conquests, Donna Elvira, who is devastated by his betrayal. Leporello tells her she is neither the first nor the last woman to fall victim to Giovanni and shows her his catalogue with the name of every woman Giovanni has seduced.

Peasants celebrate the marriage of Masetto and Zerlina. Giovanni flirts with the bride, telling her she is destined for a better life. But Elvira tells Zerlina to flee her suitor. She also warns Anna, who is still unaware of the identity of her father’s murderer and has asked Giovanni for help in finding the man. Giovanni, for his part, insists that Elvira is mad, and Anna and Ottavio wonder what to believe. As Giovanni leaves, Anna is overwhelmed by her own emotions and confronted with the fatal consequences of her earlier actions. She’s not only feeling responsible for her father’s tragic death but also guilty for having to hide the truth from Ottavio. Utterly in love with Anna and determined to figure out every single piece of evidence Ottavio swears to avenge her but at the same time is irritated with Anna and can’t really believe in Giovanni’s guilt. Giovanni, who has invited the entire wedding party to his palace, looks forward to an evening of drinking and dancing.

Outside Giovanni’s home, Zerlina asks Masetto to forgive her. Giovanni enters and leads them both inside. Anna, Elvira, and Ottavio appear masked and are invited in by Leporello. In the ballroom, Giovanni dances with Zerlina, then drags her into the adjoining room. When she cries for help, Giovanni blames Leporello. Anna, Elvira, and Ottavio take off their masks and, along with Zerlina and Masetto, accuse Giovanni, who is momentarily surprised but manages to slip away.

INTERMISSION

Act II

Having exchanged clothes with Giovanni, Leporello takes Elvira on a nighttime walk, leaving his master free to serenade her maid. When Masetto arrives with a band of peasants to hunt down Giovanni, the disguised Don sends them off in various directions, and then beats up Masetto. Zerlina finds her bruised fiancé and comforts him.

Later that night, Anna, Ottavio, Zerlina, and Masetto, who all denounce the supposed Don, surprise Leporello — still believed by Elvira to be Giovanni. Fearing for his life, Leporello reveals his true identity before making his escape. Ottavio proclaims that he will take revenge on Giovanni and asks the others to look after Anna. Elvira thinks about Giovanni, whom she still loves in spite of everything.

In a cemetery, Giovanni and Leporello meet the stone effigy of the Commendatore, who warns Giovanni that by morning he will laugh no longer. Giovanni forces the terrified Leporello to invite the effigy to dinner. The effigy accepts.

Once again, Ottavio asks Anna to marry him, but she replies that she will not until her father’s death has been avenged.

Elvira arrives at Giovanni’s palace and makes a last desperate attempt to persuade him to change his life, but he only laughs at her. The figure of the Commendatore enters and asks Giovanni to repent. After the Commendatore’s urgent warning of Giovanni’s coming demise, the desperately defiant Don is sent to hell. Elvira, Anna, Ottavio, Zerlina, Masetto, and Leporello appear, contemplating their futures and the fate of an immoral man.