This overture leaves little doubt that sinister things lie ahead. Indeed, the overture’s harrowing opening chords reappear at the climax, in which a ghost appears to drag this famous seducer down to hell. This composer’s operas were actually more popular outside of his hometown; in fact, and earlier opera had been a huge hit in a Bohemian city, leading to a commission for an operatic premiere. The composer’s response to this commission was to produce what has probably become the most well-known telling of the tale of an infamous lover. In this complex work, broad and often bawdy humor is tempered by the threat of an afterlife of just punishment.