The Original Portrayal of Mozart’s Don Giovanni
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 30, 2021
The Original Portrayal of Mozart’s Don Giovanni offers an original reading of Mozart’s and Da Ponte’s opera Don Giovanni, using as a lens the portrayal of the title role by its creator, the baritone Luigi Bassi (1766-1825).
Although Bassi was coached in the role by the composer himself, his portrayal has never been studied in depth before, and this book presents a large amount of new sources (first- and second-hand accounts), which allows us to reconstruct his performance scene by scene. The book confronts Bassi’s portrayal with a study of the opera’s early German reception and performance history, demonstrating how Don Giovanni as we know it today was not only created by Mozart, Da Ponte and Luigi Bassi but also by the early German adapters, translators, critics and performers who turned the title character into the arrogant and violent villain we still encounter in most of today’s stage productions.
Incorporating discussion of dramaturgical thinking of the late Enlightenment and the difficult moral problems that the opera raises, this is an important study for scholars and researchers of Opera Studies, Theatre and Performance Studies, and Music History.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION: WHO IS DON GIOVANNI?
PART ONE: THE CHARMER
- Creating Don Giovanni
- Luigi Bassi as a Performer
- The Opening Scene
- Don Giovanni and the Three Women
- Seducing the Audience
- Don Giovanni the Prankster
- The Supper Scene and Don Giovanni’s Death
- The Singspiel Adaptations
- Rochlitz’s Singing Translation
- Hoffmann’s Fantasy Piece
- Germans versus Italians
- The 1814 Dresden Production
- The Dresden Productions of 1821 and 1827
PART TWO: THE MONUMENT
PART THREE: THE FATAL ENCOUNTER
CONCLUSION: THE MYTHICAL AND THE CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE
Magnus Tessing Schneider (Stockholm University) is a Danish theatre scholar specialising in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Italian opera. He has edited Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito: A Reappraisal (2018), together with Ruth Tatlow, and Felicity Baker’s essay collection Don Giovanni’s Reasons: Thoughts on a masterpiece (2021).