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There is something about the work that calls forth an impulse to examine, explain, and analyze the ideas it contains.As might be expected, these commentators found things in the work that I had not initially seen.
Or is he a dissolute roué evading responsibility for his actions or, even worse, a murderer and rapist?
The opera begins as Don Giovanni is leaving the bedroom of his latest paramour, Donna Anna. " The racket awakens Donna Anna's father, Il Commendatore (roughly, head of civil authority in town), who with sword drawn charges Don Giovanni.
She is clinging to him: "Do not expect me ever to let you escape, unless you kill me." Matters quickly turn sour and an exchange of insults follows: "Traitor! The Don refuses a duel, Dad presses, they fight, and Dad is killed.
One need not answer these questions to enjoy Don Giovanni. A perfectly wonderful evening can be had at the opera by simply giving oneself to the drama, the music, and the spectacle. These ideas can deepen the meaning of an opera and enrich our encounter with it, while thinking about an opera's characters can enrich the moral universe from which we draw our ethical beliefs.
Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, first produced in 1787, is a retelling of the story of Don Juan, the famous seducer of women.