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Noon Edition

Mozart: Don Giovanni

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni has become perhaps the most famous telling of the tale of infamous lover Don Juan. The archetypical “bad guy,” the Don seduces, rapes, and even murders without compunction. In this complex work, broad and often bawdy humor is tempered by the threat of an afterlife of just punishment. The overture, which we just heard, 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 his daughter’s seducer down to hell. At this point in his career, Mozart’s operas were actually more popular in Prague than in his hometown of Vienna. In 1786, The Marriage of Figaro had been a huge hit in this Bohemian city, leading to a commission for an operatic premiere

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