Don Giovanni

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Don Giovanni (K. 527; complete title: Il dissoluto punito, ossia il Don Giovanni, literally The Rake Punished, or Don Giovanni) is an opera in two acts with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and with an Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It was premiered in the Estates Theatre in Prague on October 29, 1787. Da Ponte's libretto was billed like many of its time as dramma giocoso, a term that denotes a mixing of serious and comic action. Mozart entered the work into his catalogue as an "opera buffa". Although sometimes classified as comic, it blends comedy, melodrama and supernatural elements.

The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard wrote a long essay in his book Enten – Eller in which he argues, quoting Charles Gounod, that Mozart's Don Giovanni is “a work without blemish, of uninterrupted perfection.[1] E.T.A. Hoffmann also wrote a short story derived from the opera, "Don Juan," in which the narrator meets Donna Anna and describes Don Juan as an aesthetic hero rebelling against God and society. The finale, in which Don Giovanni refuses to repent, has been a captivating philosophical and artistic topic for many writers including George Bernard Shaw, who in Man and Superman parodied the opera (with explicit mention of the Mozart score for the finale scene between the Commendatore and Don Giovanni).

As a staple of the standard operatic repertoire, it appears as number seven on Opera America's list of the 20 most-performed operas in North America.[2]

A screen adaptation of the opera was made under the title Don Giovanni in 1979, and was directed by Joseph Losey.

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