Leporello Don Giovanni

 

Leporello, servant to Don Giovanni, serves as lookout and waits impatiently as his master daringly breaks into the house to seduce the Commandant’s daughter. He grumbles about his thankless job—no sleep, little pay, hard work (“Notte e giorno faticar”). Suddenly, Giovanni and Donna Anna rush out of the palace. They are struggling. Subsequently, Leporello describes how Don Giovanni really is - unfaithful. His list of conquests includes 1003 women in Spain, 91 (Turkey), 100 (France), 231 (Germany), and 640 in Italy. He states this by singing the Aria, “My dear lady, this is the catalog.” The next scene depicts a peasant wedding procession, as Zerlina and Masetto arrive.

Don

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Don Giovanni Metropolitan Opera

The dramatic climax of Mozart’s opera, Don Giovanni, delivers the ultimate ghost story.

Don giovanni leporello

Don Giovanni’s horrific fate is sealed earlier in the opera’s second act. In Scene 3, the brash, promiscuous nobleman (also known as Don Juan), wanders into a graveyard where he is reunited with his servant, Leporello. Don Giovanni brags that he took advantage of his disguise to try to seduce one of Leporello’s girlfriends. A voice comes from one of the graveyard’s statues warning Don Giovanni that “his laughter will not last beyond sunrise.” It’s a statue of a Commendatore, bearing the eerie inscription, “Here am I waiting for revenge against the scoundrel who killed me.” Leporello trembles, but Don Giovanni arrogantly taunts the ghost, inviting him to dinner (the duet, “O, statua gentilissima”).

Leporello in don giovanni crossword clue

The phantom’s arrival is announced with an ominous knock on the door. The Commendatore offers Don Giovanni one last chance to repent. When Don Giovanni refuses, he is surrounded by demons and carried away to Hell. A final ensemble contains the moral, “Such is the end of the evildoer: the death of a sinner always reflects his life.”

Something akin to that terrifying knock on the door can be heard in the orchestra’s underlying rhythm at the beginning of the scene. Repeating with an ominous inevitability, it’s the same unrelenting rhythm we hear in the opening bars of the opera’s Overture. With wrenching dissonances and slithering lines in the strings, the suspense builds. As the fearful Leporello hides under the table, his trembling is felt in the orchestra. Dizzying scales rise and fall in the strings, giving us a sense of lightheadedness. Don Giovanni’s “hour of doom” is announced by the Commendatore with a descent into the bottom of the bass register. Throughout the scene, the dramatic “heat” is turned up with continuously searing intensity.

Here is a 1990 Metropolitan Opera performance featuring the German bass, Kurt Moll, in the role of the Commendatore. Samuel Ramey is in the title role and Ferruccio Furlanetto performs the role of Leporello.

Recordings

Leporello Don Giovanni Crossword Clue

  • Mozart: Don Giovanni, K. 527, Metropolitan Opera, James Levine, Bryn Terfel, Renee Fleming, Solveig Kringelborn, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Paul Groves (2005 performance) Amazon

Don Giovanni Leporello Aria

Featured Image: “Don Juan et la statue du commandeur” (c. 1830) by Alexandre-Evariste Fragonard