Don Giovanni

By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

San Diego Civic Theatre
1100 Third Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101

Friday, February 2, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 2:00 pm

Considered to be a perfect opera, this a tale of seduction and doom features stunning visuals and the orchestra onstage heightening Mozart’s glorious music.


Mozart’s Don Giovanni features some of the greatest operatic music ever written. This special version showcases Mozart’s incredible score by placing the singers, chorus, and San Diego Symphony front and center. The singers and chorus will be fully staged and costumed, accompanied by state-of-the-art theater lighting and projections, for a complete and stunning visual and auditory experience. San Diego Opera’s Principal Conductor Yves Abel returns to lead the action, which features the exciting house debut of baritone Germán Enrique Alcántara in the title role.

LANGUAGE – Sung in Italian with English and Spanish text projected above the stage

RUN TIME – 3 hours and 30 minutes, including one intermission

Pre-Opera Talk

The pre-opera talk begins at 6:40 pm before the 7:30 pm Friday evening performance. The Sunday matinee pre-opera talk begins at 1:10 pm before the 2:00 pm curtain.

Mainstage Post-Opera Talk-Back

Stay after the performance for a Talk-Back. Once the curtain falls, there will be a 10-minute break, then join us in the front of the Dress Circle section where you can ask questions of the stars and cast (subject to availability), and find out what really happened onstage and backstage during the performance!

German Alcantara 470x470

Germán Enrique Alcántara
Don Giovanni

Alex McKissick Tenor 2 by Arielle Doneson 470x470

Alexander McKissick
Don Ottavio

Ethan Vincent2 470x470

Ethan Vincent

Koontz Headshot 2 470x470

Tasha Koontz
Donna Anna

Megan Moore 470x470

Megan Moore
Donna Elvira

Abel Yves Headshot 470x470

Yves Abel

Lang Kyle

Kyle Lang
Stage Director

Synopsis in English

Act I
In a courtyard of the Commendatore’s palace in Seville, Leporello, Don Giovanni’s servant, complains that his life is drudgery; while his master is indoors with a woman, he must keep watch in the dark. Don Giovanni enters, pursued by Donna Anna, who is determined to learn the identity of her would-be violator. Anna runs inside when her father, the Commendatore, arrives to challenge her assailant. Giovanni kills the old man in a duel, and escapes with Leporello. Anna returns with her fiancé, Don Ottavio, lamenting her father’s death. Ottavio comforts her, and they vow revenge.

On a Seville street at dawn, Leporello criticizes his master’s immoral way of life. Don Giovanni angrily rebukes him and begins planning another amorous adventure. Donna Elvira enters, swearing either to win back her faithless lover, or to seek revenge on him. As Giovanni emerges to comfort the suffering beauty, he recognizes her as one of the many women he has seduced, promised to marry, and deserted. He manages to slip away, instructing Leporello to advise Elvira to forget him. Leporello shows Elvira a catalogue in which he has recorded Don Giovanni’s conquests. The outraged Elvira plots revenge.

In the countryside, a peasant couple, Zerlina and Masetto, celebrate their impending marriage with friends. Happening upon the scene with Leporello, Don Giovanni sets his sights on Zerlina and springs into action. He invites the wedding party to his home and encourages everyone – except Zerlina – to tour the estate. Masetto is reluctant to leave Zerlina with Giovanni, but the Don makes it clear that he’d better do as he’s told. Masetto grudgingly obeys his aristocratic rival, and departs. Giovanni tells Zerlina that she is worthy of a far better husband than the peasant Masetto. She is just about to yield to his seduction, when they are interrupted by Donna Elvira, who denounces Giovanni and spirits Zerlina away.

Don Giovanni encounters Don Ottavio and Donna Anna, but it soon becomes clear that they don’t realize that it was he who killed the Commendatore. Rather, they seek his help in apprehending the killer. Donna Elvira returns, lamenting Giovanni’s faithlessness, but Giovanni assures the others that Elvira is deluded. After Elvira and Giovanni have gone, Anna realizes in horror that Giovanni was her father’s killer, having recognized his voice in his parting words. After Ottavio expresses his love and concern, Anna relates the story of her encounter with Giovanni and calls on Ottavio to avenge the crimes.

In the garden of Don Giovanni’s palace, Leporello informs Giovanni that he has entertained the peasants with skills acquired from his master – lying and getting them drunk. He relates that Zerlina arrived at the palace with Donna Elvira, who again proclaimed Don Giovanni’s perfidy, but he ejected Elvira from the premises. Giovanni orders a celebration replete with wine and women. As Zerlina and Masetto enter, she assures him that she is innocent of any wrongdoing, and invites him to beat her if he doubts her. Alarmed when she hears Giovanni’s voice, she begs Masetto to take her away. Instead, Masetto conceals himself in order to eavesdrop on their conversation. When Giovanni once again attempts to seduce Zerlina, Masetto confronts him. Unruffled, Giovanni scolds Masetto for leaving his bride-to- be unattended, and invites the couple inside for dancing. Donna Anna, Donna Elvira and Don Ottavio, arrive at the palace, masked. At Giovanni’s request, Leporello invites them to join the festivities. The avengers pray for God’s protection. Meanwhile, Masetto fumes as Leporello keeps him away from Zerlina and Don Giovanni. When a small orchestra strikes up a minuet, Leporello insists upon dancing with Masetto, thus allowing Giovanni to lead Zerlina away. She is soon heard shrieking for help, and Leporello warns his master that the guests are becoming suspicious. Masetto and the masked trio move to rescue Zerlina just as she rushes in followed by Giovanni, who is dragging Leporello and accusing him of being the attacker. No one, however. believes this ploy. Don Ottavio and his comrades remove their masks and confront Giovanni, but he once again eludes his adversaries and escapes.

Act II
At dusk, on a street in Seville, Leporello threatens to leave Giovanni’s service, but the Don bribes him to remain. Leporello entreats his master to give up his amorous adventures, but Giovanni refuses. He plans his current project: the seduction of Donna Elvira’s chambermaid. Just then, Elvira appears on her balcony, lamenting her continuing infatuation with Giovanni. The Don compels Leporello to impersonate him, and begs Elvira’s forgiveness. She succumbs to the entreaties and descends from the balcony After Leporello, disguised as Giovanni, goes off with Elvira, the Don takes up a mandolin and serenades Elvira’s chambermaid. When Giovanni is suddenly confronted by Masetto and a band of vengeful peasants, he identifies himself as Leporello and instructs them to split up in order to ambush Giovanni. Now alone with Masetto, Giovanni disarms and beats the peasant, and then flees. Zerlina enters and finds the battered Masetto. She promises him a special, loving remedy to ease his pain.

Donna Elvira and Leporello enter. Frightened by the darkness, they grope about in search of an escape. Donna Anna, Don Ottavio, Masetto, and Zerlina arrive and demand the death of Elvira’s companion, whom they suppose to be Giovanni. As Ottavio is about to kill him, Leporello reveals that he is indeed not Giovanni and, taking advantage of their surprise, escapes. Convinced that Giovanni is the Commendatore’s murderer, Ottavio vows to punish the Don and to bring consolation to Donna Anna. Left alone, Elvira is torn between her desire for vengeance against Giovanni and the love she still feels for him.

Leporello and Giovanni, both fleeing from their pursuers, meet in a cemetery. Leporello complains that, while disguised as Giovanni, he was nearly killed in his master’s stead. The Don’s disguise, however, served him better, allowing him to enjoy the favors of Elvira’s chambermaid. An ominous voice sounds in the darkness, and the terrified Leporello realizes that it is the statue of the Commendatore who is addressing them. Giovanni forces Leporello to read the inscription on the pedestal of the statue: “Here I wait to avenge myself on the wretch who brought about my death.” Giovanni commands Leporello to invite the statue to dinner. The servant unwillingly obeys, and the statue nods in assent and answers yes.

At Donna Anna’s home, the lady chides Don Ottavio for speaking of marriage so soon after the death of her father. She affirms her love for him, but asks him to be patient.

At Giovanni’s palace, the Don is served dinner by Leporello while being entertained by small orchestra. Donna Elvira enters, but Giovanni mocks her pleas to him to mend his ways. After Elvira exits, a terrified scream is heard. Giovanni sends Leporello to investigate; the servant returns, stammering that the Commendatore’s statue has indeed arrived for dinner. Giovanni orders Leporello to set another place at the table, but the statue, disdaining mortal food, asks Giovanni to accompany him. Declaring that he fears nothing, Giovanni accepts and clasps the statue’s outstretched hand. The Commendatore demands that Giovanni repent, but he refuses and is then threatened by demon voices who promise that his earthly crimes will pale compared to the tortures that await him in Hell. Don Giovanni disappears.

Donna Anna, Don Ottavio, Donna Elvira, Zerlina, and Masetto arrive, and Leporello tells them of his master’s demise. Ottavio and Anna look forward to their marriage, Elvira resolves to enter a convent, and Zerlina and Masetto contemplate a happy dinner together. Leporello decides to search for a better master. They all sum up the recent events by quoting an ancient proverb: “Such is the fate of those who do evil.”

Sinopsis en Español

Acto I

Escena 1. Una calle afuera de la casa del Commendatore.

Leporello, sirviente de Don Giovanni, espera impacientemente a su amo afuera de la casa de Donna Anna, donde Don Giovanni intenta seducir a la dama.  De repente, aparecen Don Giovanni y Donna Anna, forcejeando.  Anna trata de descubrir su identidad, sin lograrlo.  Aparece su padre, el Commendatore, y desafía a Don Giovanni a un duelo; Anna corre en busca de ayuda.  Don Giovanni, al principio reacio, acepta el desafío y mata al viejo. Leporello y Don Giovanni escapan. Donna Anna regresa con su prometido, Don Ottavio, encuentran muerto a su padre, y ella hace que Ottavio jure vengarse de la muerte de su padre.

Escena 2.  El día siguiente.

Leporello, habiendo pedido a Don Giovanni que prometa no castigarlo por hablar libremente, le dice que su vida es escandalosa. Cuando Don Giovanni se enoja, Leporello cambia de tema y habla del “catálogo” de mujeres de Don Giovanni. Mientras Don Giovanni le cuenta de su última amante, aparece Donna Elvira. Los hombres no la reconocen, y se esconden mientras ella expresa su ira por el engaño sufrido a manos de un canalla. Cuando Don Giovanni, complacido por la posibilidad de otra conquista, se acerca a consolarla, ella lo reconoce como el hombre que se casó con ella y la abandonó.  Mientras ella lo reprende, el abatido Don Giovanni se escabulle, y Leporello, explicándole que ella no es la única, le muestra a Donna Elvira el catálogo.

Escena 3.  La campiña cerca del castillo de Don Giovanni.

Un grupo de campesinos celebra la boda de Zerlina y Masetto.  Don Giovanni y Leporello admiran a las muchachas; Don Giovanni está muy interesado en Zerlina. Invita a todos a entrar a su castillo para comer y beber.  Pero él detiene a Zerlina, lo cual enfada al celoso Masetto, a quien finalmente convencen de seguir con los otros. Don Giovanni promete casarse con Zerlina.  Seducida, Zerlina asiente, pero reaparece Donna Elvira, le advierte a la muchacha acerca de él, y se la lleva. Llegan Donna Anna y Don Ottavio.  Sin darse cuenta que Don Giovanni es el hombre que asesinó a su padre, Anna busca su ayuda. Vuelve Donna Elvira y trata de decirles a los otros qué tipo de hombre en realidad es, pero Don Giovanni les dice que Elvira está loca y se la lleva.  Sin embargo, Donna Anna se ha dado cuenta, por su voz, que Don Giovanni fue su atacante.  Le dice a Don Ottavio lo que le pasó a ella la noche en que mataron a su padre, y vuelve a pedirle que busque venganza. Ottavio, solo, reflexiona sobre su amor por ella.  Reaparecen Don Giovanni y Leporello. Leporello le cuenta que emborrachó a los aldeanos y además logró dejar afuera a Elvira. Don Giovanni, muy complacido, ordena que se organice una gran fiesta y se retira para prepararse. Masetto llega al acecho al jardín, ignora las súplicas de Zerlina y la acusa de ser infiel. Ella le insta a Masetto a golpearla si quiere, siempre y cuando se reconcilien. Masetto cede a sus súplicas, pero cuando escuchan que se acerca Don Giovanni, Zerlina se inquieta y Masetto, con sospechas, se esconde para verlos juntos. Don Giovanni reitera sus atenciones y trata de llevarla hacia un costado, justo al mismo lugar donde está escondido Masetto.  Don Giovanni, recuperándose rápidamente de la sorpresa, despreocupadamente le explica a Masetto que Zerlina extrañaba a su marido, y se retira con la pareja. Entran Donna Anna, Don Ottavio, y Donna Elvira, enmascarados, con la intención de exponer a Don Giovanni delante de todos.  Don Giovanni y Leporello, sin reconocerlos, los invitan a la fiesta.

Escena 4.  Dentro del castillo de Don Giovanni.

Mientras los invitados bailan, Don Giovanni sigue con sus insinuaciones hacia Zerlina. Le ofrece una efusiva bienvenida al trío enmascarado. Baila con Zerlina; Leporello agarra a Masetto y lo obliga a bailar, permitiendo que Don Giovanni se aleje con Zerlina a la fuerza. Cuando se oyen los gritos de Zerlina, Masetto y los otros corren a encontrarla, pero Don Giovanni entra nuevamente y trata de hacer parecer que Leporello es el culpable. Don Ottavio, Donna Anna, y Donna Elvira se quitan las máscaras y amenazan a Don Giovanni, que los mantiene a raya con su espada. Usando a Leporello de escudo, Don Giovanni se escapa.

Acto II 

Escena 1.  Un patio afuera de la casa de Donna Elvira.

Leporello amenza con dejar a Don Giovanni, pero éste lo convence de quedarse al darle un monedero con dinero.  Don Giovanni tiene un plan: Leporello debe hacerse pasar por él y persuadir a Elvira de alejarse con él, dejando a Don Giovanni, vestido de Leporello, libre de seducir a su doncella. Intercambian sus ropas. Cuando aparece Elvira, Don Giovanni se esconde detrás de Leporello y le canta. Elvira consiente en acercarse a él. Don Giovanni se esconde mientras Leporello torpemente le hace el amor a Elvira. Don Giovanni aparece repentinamente, haciendo parecer que es un ladrón, y la pareja se va corriendo. Don Giovanni entonces canta una serenata a la doncella, pero se ve obligado a esconderse cuando Masetto y unos aldeanos armados llegan a buscarlo. Fingiendo ser Leporello, Don Giovanni se acerca y les dice que ha abandonado a su amo, y los manda en varias direcciones a encontrarlo. Solo con Masetto, Don Giovanni lo engaña para que le entregue sus armas, le da una paliza y se va corriendo, dejando a Masetto gimiendo en el suelo. Aparece Zerlina, lo consuela, y lo lleva a casa. Regresan Leporello y Elvira; él trata de encontrar una forma de escaparse de ella. Justo cuando encuentra la puerta del patio, entran Ottavio y Anna, seguidos por Zerlina y Masetto. Creyendo que él es Don Giovanni, lo acorralan mientras Elvira les ruega que lo perdonen.  Desesperado, él revela quién es, para sorpresa de todos.  Cuando se abalanzan sobre él, les ruega que tengan piedad pero logra escapar. Don Ottavio insta a los demás a consolar a Anna mientras él sale en busca de venganza. Elvira, dejada sola, se lamenta del engaño.

Escena 2.  Un cementerio.

Don Giovanni jocosamente le cuenta sus aventuras a Leporello. De repente, una voz fantasmal dice que su júbilo pronto se acabará. Leporello, atemorizado, nota una estatua del Commendatore, sobre la cual está inscripta una promesa de venganza sobre su asesino. Don Giovanni descaradamente ordena al aterrorizado Leporello que invite a cenar a la estatua. La estatua acepta.

Escena 3.  El salón comedor de Don Giovanni.

Don Giovanni ordena a la orquesta que comience a tocar mientras come, a la vez que Leporello saca comida de la mesa a escondidas.  Irrumpe Donna Elvira y le ruega a Don Giovanni que cambie su forma de vida, pero él simplemente la invita a comer. Mientras ella se retira, de repente se detiene en la puerta, grita, y corre por otra puerta. Don Giovanni ordena a Leporello que vaya a ver lo que había ahí. Leporello lo hace, y regresa tartamudeando acerca de un hombre de piedra que toca la puerta.  Aparece la estatua del Commendatore y anuncia que ha llegado a cenar. Don Giovanni ofrece su hospitalidad y Leporello se esconde.  La estatua declina aceptar comida de mortales, pero invita a Don Giovanni a cenar con él. Don Giovanni acepta, y le da su mano a la estatua como promesa, pero se ve atrapado.  La estatua exige que Don Giovanni se arrepienta pero él se niega, y es llevado arrastrando al Infierno mientras un coro de demonios lo condena.  Ottavio, Anna, Elvira, Zerlina, y Masetto ahora llegan a enfrentar a Don Giovanni. Angustiado, Leporello explica lo que ha pasado.  Donna Anna accede en casarse con Don Ottavio; Donna Elvira se retirará a un convento; Zerlina y Masetto irán a su casa a comer; y Leporello irá a la posada a encontrar un nuevo amo.  La moraleja de la historia:  A mal vivir, mal morir. 

Translated to Spanish by: Ana C. Martinez and Claudio Luchina

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