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„Don Giovanni“ – Die Handlung - Deutsche Oper Berlin

From the programme booklet

„Don Giovanni“ – The Synopsis

recounted by Roland Schwab and Christian Baier

Part One – The impotence of freedom

Coming out of the darkness - Don Giovanni. The "seducer of all seducers" has had many faces over the years! But who is he really?


7. The Donna Anna Syndrome

As the story goes: Don Giovanni murders the father of his lover, Donna Anna. Like so many times before! He leaves an enigmatic card beside the corpse. The countdown begins … Donna Anna conceals her affair with Don Giovanni from Don Ottavio, her groom. Seeing her father’s corpse, she swears vengeance. From now on revenge is the mantra of her troubled conscience.


6. The Donna Elvira Complex

As the libretto intended it: Donna Elvira, a “discarded” lover, confronts Don Giovanni. Leporello, his servant, points out the insignificance of her own personal suffering in comparison with the countless broken hearts Don Giovanni has left in his wake. A mysterious card is also intended for Donna Elvira …


5. The Zerlina Situation

As the dramaturgy would have it: Zerlina and Masetto marry. Don Giovanni seduces the bride – his image leaves him no choice – right under the nose of Donna Elvira and the groom. And then he deals out another of his strange cards … Donna Anna and Don Ottavio find allies in Donna Elvira and Masetto for their revenge on Don Giovanni. Zerlina will be their decoy. Freedom has a party. The avengers gain entry and set upon Don Giovanni. He willingly lays his head beneath the sword raised by Don Ottavio. It’s all over now! He has long awaited this moment. Yet hope is a joke with no punch-line. Chaos, his loyal companion through the centuries, takes hold of him.


Part Two – The last temptation


4. Innocentia

The morning after. A girl. Dead people are heavier than broken hearts. There are still three cards left …


3. The Comedians’ Hour

As the dramma giocoso needs it: Disguised as Don Giovanni, Leporello is supposed to distract Donna Elvira. The comedy of errors takes its course. Don Giovanni lures Masetto into a trap. – There are two cards left … Leporello’s cover is blown. He barely escapes the avengers.


2. Master of Horror

At the graveyard. The voice of the dead commander. Don Giovanni invites the dead man to join him for supper. The last one, he hopes. The course is set for the Last Judgement … On the ruins of their relationship Donna Anna, grimly holding on to her life lie, and Don Ottavio, an unspoken suspicion inside him, resign themselves to the gentle horrors their cold marriage holds in store for them. Don Giovanni still has one card to play. – The last trump …


1. The Don Giovanni Principle

Don Giovanni awaits his true judge. Donna Elvira beseeches him to let go of his plan, but to no avail. Too much has been said, made up, written about him. After all the centuries of interpretation, there’s no room to move. On the track of interpretations, Don Giovanni is well on the way to meeting his fate. Before long, the tribunal calls him to the dock. Heaven and hell crank up the engine of doom. The last card has been drawn. But who is it for? The countdown is over. – And once again nothing’s happened. True hell is repetition. Heading into the darkness, towards the next interpretation – Don Giovanni …

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