Don Giovanni (Mozart 22)

"Il dissoluto punito, ossia Il Don Giovanni" is the full title of the opera
that is widely held to be the most perfect work of its genre. Luckily, it
is known today merely as "Don Giovanni," a title that far better evokes the
hero in all of his seductive power, his disregard for the social order, his
merry wantonness. It is this hero who fascinated Mozart, not the "dissoluto
punito" - the "rake punished" - who harks back to the morals and
conventions of the late 18th century.
The work, again on a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte (like "Figaro" and
"Così"), was written for Prague after "Figaro" had enjoyed such an
overwhelming success in the Bohemian capital. It was premiered there on 29
October 1787. The opera's perfect fusion of opera buffa and opera seria is
suggested by its novel designation as a dramma giocoso, or merry drama. It
is a moral tale of murder, sexual exploitation and betrayal that is
lightened by comedic elements that infuse the whole with warmth and
As sung by baritone Thomas Hampson, who made his international breakthrough
as Don Giovanni under Harnoncourt in 1987, the title hero superbly
incarnates the aging rake and emotional anarchist who's seen and done
everything. Ildebrando D'Arcangelo plays his servant without exaggeration,
as an astute observer. While Melanie Diener dazzles as Donna Elvira, it is
Christine Schäfer and Piotr Beczala who, with their powerful stage
presence, give exceptionally unforgettable performances as Donna Anna and
Don Ottavio.
Director Martin Ku¿ej interprets "Don Giovanni" with compelling images that
cast the rake as a child of today's consumer society, a man who acquires
women, uses them and disposes of them after consumption. Happiness can be
bought - but the specter of retribution is never far away, as in the
evocative "tableau vivant" of spent and broken high-society hedonists.
Under the baton of young conductor Daniel Harding, the Vienna Philharmonic
weave a fresh, transparent and jaunty musical fabric that underscores every
nuance of passion and despair, as well as every shading of wit and humanity
that make "Don Giovanni" a work of unequalled artistry.

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Title: Don Giovanni (Mozart 22)
Conductor: Daniel Harding
Staged By: Martin Kušej
Soloist: Thomas Hampson, Robert Lloyd, Christine Schäfer, Piotr Beczała, Melanie Diener, Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Luca Pisaroni
Set: Martin Zehetgruber
Orchestra: Wiener Philharmoniker
Chorus: Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor
Video Director: Karina Fibich
Genre: Opera
Length: 181 minutes
Cat.No.: A04001469
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The DVD is also released within the DVD package "Mozart 22 - The complete operas" which is available in selected stores worldwide and through Amazon or JPC.