One of Mozart’s darkest operas, Don Giovanni retells the story of the fabled character, Don Juan. This story of insatiable lust will shock and satisfy audiences of all types. Baritone Galen Scott Bower, last seen as Baron Scarpia in ALO’s production of Tosca, returns to play the title role of Don Giovanni. Conductor and Artistic Director of Union Avenue Opera, Scott Schoonover, returns to conduct. Renowned opera star and ALO friend, David Malis, returns to direct after 5 years.
Principal Cast (Click on photos for artist websites)
Galen Scott Bower, Don Giovanni
Kathy Pyeatt, Donna Elvira
Scott Schoonover, Conductor
Production Design: Julie Ross/ Vision Productions (New Production)
Don Giovanni – Synopsis
The curtain opens on a quiet 17th century Spanish street outside the Commentator’s house, late at night. Leporello, Don Giovanni’s man servant, laments his status as an accomplice to the Don’s foul behavior. He stands guard, waiting on his master, Don Giovanni to return from breaking into Donna Anna’s bed chamber. He hides at the approach of Donna Anna who is pursuing Don Giovanni (who conceals his face). Donna Anna’s father, Il Commendatore, confronts Don Giovanni and they duel. The old man is slain by Don Giovanni. Don Giovanni and Leporello escape. Donna Anna returns, calling for Don Ottavio, and faints over the body. She responds to Don Ottavio’s pledge to be husband and father to her by demanding an oath of vengeance.
Later at dawn, Donna Elvira, arriving from Burgos just outside Seville, is pursuing her betrayer. Don Giovanni senses the presence of a woman and pursues the distressed lady but soon realizes it is Donna Elvira. She believes they are married. He escapes after her scolding and lament of his betrayal of affection, leaving Leporello to show her the catalogue of his many conquests. Leporello leaves her to vent her frustration and hurt in private.
The scene changes and now it is mid-morning. Peasants surround bride-to-be and groom-to-be Zerlina and Masetto. Don Giovanni invites the peasants to his house for fun and treats, dimissing the jealous Masetto as he plans to keep Zerlina in his company. Giovanni flatters Zerlina with an offer of marriage. Zerlina worries about Masetto, but finally falls prey to Don Giovanni’s confident plea. Donna Elvira arrives just in time and warns Zerlina to flee this traitor. Donna Anna and Don Ottavio greet Don Giovanni as a friend. Don Giovanni offers his assistance with exquisite grace. Donna Elvira interrupts them. She warns Donna Anna not to trust Don Giovanni. Donna Anna and Don Ottavio are confused. Don Giovanni tries to hush Donna Elvira and tells the couple that she is mad. Don Giovanni bids the couple farewell after Donna Elvira departs. At this moment, Donna Anna realizes that he was the perpetrator of her household and murderer of her father. She explains her realization and the events from the night of her father’s death to Don Ottavio and vows to avenge her father. Don Ottavio is perplexed and shocked that Don Giovanni is the villain, but stands by his role as supporter of Donna Anna. Don Giovanni congratulates Leporello on helping rid him of Donna Elvira and prepares for an exciting evening of parties and conquests.
Later that afternoon in Giovanni’s garden,Zerlina wins Masetto back using her charm. When she hears Don Giovanni’s voice, she is excited but scared. Don Giovanni gives orders to his servants for the evening’s festivities and begins to spy on Zerlina. After Zerlina and Masetto both hide, they decide to go inside together. Donna Elvira leads Donna Anna and Don Ottavio towards Don Giovanni’s party. They are dressed up as maskers for the ball, concealing their identities. Leporello sees them and invites them to join the party. They pray that justice and peace will be the result of their plan.
The story continues that evening in Giovanni’s ballroom. The maskers enter the party and are greeted with a toast. Leporello forces Masetto to dance. Don Giovanni drags Zerlina into another room. She screams; Masetto rushes after them. All gather around the scene. Don Giovanni blames the deed on Leporello and offers to kill him on the spot. Zerlina and the maskers, now revealing themselves, are not fooled and denounce Don Giovanni. Once again, he escapes.