Don Giovanni is a modern man, he is a predator, an individual without boundaries, who has chosen his own rules instead of complying with the social order. His life is guided by wine, lust, and women, but he has replaced romance with trophy hunting – the number of women Don Giovanni has conquered is in the thousands. The means to achieve his ends can become extreme – lies, deceit, and even murder – but in the end it proves to be the road to hell.
The new production of Don Giovanni, Mozart’s late 18th century opera, at the Latvian National Opera is directed by Marcelo Lombardero, known to Latvian audiences for his production of Le Nozze di Figaro in 2014. In the hands of the creative team, Don Giovanni has become an ironic and dark comedy.
Recommended age: 16+
At night, Leporello grumbles about his duties as servant to Don Giovanni. The masked Don appears, pursued by Donna Anna, the Commendatore's daughter, whom he has tried to seduce. When the Commendatore himself enters, he is killed by Giovanni, who escapes. Anna returns with her fiancé, Don Ottavio. Finding her father dead, she makes Ottavio swear vengeance on the assassin.
Giovanni flirts with a traveler. She turns out to be Donna Elvira, a woman he once seduced, who is on his trail. Giovanni escapes while Leporello distracts Elvira by reciting his master's long catalog of conquests.
A wedding party arrives, celebrating the nuptials of their friends Zerlina and Masetto. When Giovanni joins in, he pursues the bride, angering the groom, who is removed by Leporello. Alone with Zerlina, the Don applies his charm, but Elvira interrupts and protectively leads the girl away. Giovanni, greeting Anna and Ottavio, is put into an embarrassing situation by the returning Elvira who denounces him as a seducer. Declaring Elvira mad, he leads her off. Anna, having recognized him, realizes Giovanni is her father's murderer.
Don Giovanni eagerly anticipates the ball that is scheduled for that evening. Zerlina begs Masetto to forgive her apparent infidelity. Masetto hides when the Don appears, emerging from the shadows as Giovanni corners Zerlina. Giovanni nonchalantly masters the situation and invites both Zerlina and Masetto to come with him. Elvira, Anna and Ottavio arrive disguised. They are invited to the feast by Leporello.
During the party, Leporello entices Masetto into the dance as Giovanni draws Zerlina to a secluded space. When the girl cries for help, Giovanni tries to blame Leporello for having attacked her. But no one is convinced. Elvira, Anna and Ottavio unmask and confront Giovanni, who barely escapes.
Leporello exchanges clothes with Giovanni to seduce Elvira in his master's stead. Leporello leads Elvira off, leaving the Don free to serenade Elvira's maid. When Masetto passes with armed friends bent on punishing Giovanni, the disguised rake gives them false directions, then beats up Masetto. Zerlina arrives and tenderly consoles her fiancé.
Elvira and Leporello are surprised by Anna, Ottavio, Zerlina and Masetto, who, mistaking servant for master, threaten Leporello. Frightened, he unmasks and escapes. When Anna departs, Ottavio muses over his relationship with Anna. Elvira, frustrated at her second betrayal by the Don, voices her rage.
Leporello catches up with his master when a voice warns Giovanni of his doom. It seems to be the voice of the Commendatore, which the Don proposes Leporello invite to dinner. When the servant reluctantly stammers an invitation, the voice accepts.
Anna, still in mourning, puts off Ottavio's offer of marriage until her father is avenged.
Giovanni is enjoying his dinner when Elvira rushes in, begging the Don, whom she still loves, to reform. But he waves her out contemptuously. As she leaves, Giovanni is stunned to see the Commendatore enter who demands the Don repent his crime. But Giovanni refuses. Overcome by a force stronger than his own, he collapses dead.
Anna, Elvira, Ottavio, Leporello, Zerlina and Masetto plan their future and recite the moral: such is the fate of a wrongdoer.