These Opera Guides are ideal companions to the opera. They provide stimulating introductory articles together with the complete text of each opera in English and the original.
This famous opera ends, after the hero is dragged down to hell, with a warning that evil shall not go unpunished. ‘Hardly’, as Michael F. Robinson notes, ‘one’s usual idea of a “comic” subject!’ So this guide opens with a brief look at what is actually comic about it. David Wyn Jones gives an overall view of the score: he shows how the musical keys are arranged so that the dramatic momentum over two long acts is maintained and discusses orchestration and dramatic pacing in the most important scenes. Christopher Raeburn contributes a lively portrait of the ‘libertine librettist’ who, after his Vienna triumphs, was hounded out of London for his debts and eventually died in New York – ‘revered as the father of Italian studies in America’. The full original text is given, with a pointed modern translation.
Contents: The ‘Comic’ element in ‘Don Giovanni’ by Michael F. Robinson; Music and Action in ‘Don Giovanni’ by David Wyn Jones; Lorenzo da Ponte by Christopher Raeburn; Characterisation in ‘Don Giovanni’
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–91) was born in Salzburg, and began composing at the age of five. His subsequent prolific output included the great operas of his maturity, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte and Die Zauberflöte.