Mozart's two-act opera Il dissoluto punito, ossia il Don Giovanni (The Libertine Punished, namely Don Giovanni), K 527, written in 1787, was first performed in Prague on 29 October 1787. It was commissioned following Mozart's successful visit to Prague in January and February 1787. The work's first Vienna performance (for which Mozart added a couple of extra recitatives and arias) was on 7 May 1788.
Librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte based the plot on the legends of the fictional Spanish seducer Don Juan, and also on a Giovanni Bertati opera libretto.
Don Giovanni is a young, arrogant, charismatic and sexually promiscuous nobleman. He abuses and outrages everyone around, until one of his conquests ends in murder. Laughing in a graveyard, a statue speaks, warning the Don that his laughter will not last until the next morning. He brazenly invites the statue, the 'stone guest', to dinner. The statue agrees, arrives at the door, asks the Don to repent, and, on his refusal, summons up a chorus of demons who take Don Giovanni to hell.
One of the world's most performed operas, Don Giovanni is a blend of drama, comedy and the supernatural, and the story has been much discussed by writers and philosophers.
A selection of M&V articles about Don Giovanni
Ensemble. Lovers' Opera - Giovanni Pacini's 'Il Convitato di Pietra', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Highly Promising Talent - Katie Gilbert, Esther Beard and Edward Leung at Derby Cathedral, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Panto Flavour - Alessandro Talevi's time-travelling, Punch-and-Judy, rock-'n'-roll production of 'Don Giovanni' for Opera North has been back on the road. Mike Wheeler re-visited it in Nottingham
Ensemble. Modernizing Monteverdi and Mozart - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences two very different performances
Ensemble. A Fine Rendition - 'Don Giovanni' live in high definition from New York Metropolitan Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Polished Team - Heritage Opera's 'Don Giovanni', reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Sex and Violence - Graham Vick's 'Don Giovanni', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Existential Tragedy - A new Italian production of Don Giovanni, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Elements of Panto - Mozart's 'Don Giovanni' entertains Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Virile and Robust - Mozart's 'Don Giovanni' at Los Angeles Opera, recommended by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. An Immoralist Black Comedy - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on a controversial new production of Mozart's 'Don Giovanni' which opened La Scala's 2011-12 season in Milan
Ensemble. Saturday Delight - 'Don Giovanni' from New York Metropolitan Opera in HD, reviewed by Maria Nockin
A Stunning Voice - A recital by Vuyani Mlinde impresses Robert Hugill
Profile. A Nurturing Environment - Maria Nockin talks to American mezzo Kate Lindsey
Ensemble. A Tad More Sensual - Simon Keenlyside sings Don Giovanni with the Cleveland Orchestra, appreciated by Kelly Ferjutz
Ensemble. Happy Melodies - Rossini's 'Il Turco in Italia' delights Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Aristocratic in Inspiration - Matthew Cameron plays Liszt, enjoyed by Robert Anderson. '... dignity and eloquence.'
Ensemble. Vibrant Performance - Two concerts by the Symphony of the Americas, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Fine Performances - Mike Wheeler listens to James Rippingale, Jonathan Trout and the Derby Concert Orchestra
Ensemble. Splendid Ideas - Stravinsky's 'Le Rossignol' impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Nearly a Male Lulu - 'Don Giovanni' in Aix-en-Provence, a black comedy of sex and loneliness, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Crisp and Energetic - Ilya Gringolts, Sinfonia Viva and André de Ridder, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Invigorating Performance - Sinfonia Viva plays Judith Weir, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Fine Rendition - 'Così fan tutte' at Arizona Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Magical Week - Maria Nockin reports from Santa Fe
DVD Spotlight. Superlative Music - Mozart's 'Don Giovanni', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... the flames are formidable ...'
Ensemble. Sometimes Impressive - Bellini's 'Norma' from English Touring Opera, heard by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Rollicking Action - Mozart's 'Marriage of Figaro' in Cleveland, enjoyed by Kelly Ferjutz
Ensemble. Truly Elegant - Arizona Opera's 'Don Giovanni', appreciated by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. A Broader Canvas - Chamber music by Sibelius, enjoyed by Robert Anderson. '... fresh and unfamiliar music, put across with such conviction ...'
Pure Fashion? - Several Composers in Search of an Identity, by Béla Hartmann
Ensemble. Truly Special - Kelly Ferjutz enjoys Dvorák's 'Rusalka'
Ensemble. A Richly-spiced Palette - Malcolm Miller reports on the world première of a new viola concerto in Tel Aviv
Ensemble. An Auspicious Beginning - The first performance of a brand new opera company, marked by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Simply Glorious - Los Angeles Opera revives 'Don Giovanni', by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Important to Dream - Unusual performances of 'The Tales of Hoffmann', enjoyed by Kelly Ferjutz
DVD Spotlight. Weird Love Tales - Offenbach's 'The Tales of Hoffmann' [listen], reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... a cast, orchestra, conductor and stage team fully up to tackling a very demanding project.'
Ensemble. Power and Effervescence - Mozart's 'Don Giovanni', reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Simplicity and Directness - Malcolm Miller assesses Opera Project's 'Don Giovanni', currently on tour
DVD Spotlight. Safe Passage? - Mozart's 'Così fan tutte', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... a disappointing monument ...'
Ensemble. Revisiting with Pleasure - Summer at Longborough Festival Opera, enjoyed by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Much to Enjoy - The Budapest Symphony Orchestra on tour in the UK, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Record box. Crisp performance - Michel Dalberto plays Mozart Piano Concertos, reviewed by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Operatic delights - Canadian Opera Company's Altamira Summer Arts Concerts, reviewed by Malcolm Miller
Opium of the elite - Roderic Dunnett previews this autumn's touring operas in the UK
Ensemble. Female insurgence - Roderic Dunnett visits Garsington Opera for a feast of Mozart, Rossini and rare Janácek
CD Spotlight. Two violas - Mozart's String Quintets, reviewed by Robert Anderson. 'The playing demonstrates the lovely range of tone colours the team can so readily deploy.'