The story of Don Giovanni is one of the great myths of mankind accompanying us through the centuries that has inspired literature and philosophy, and undermined morality. We all know Don Giovanni as a virile, lascivious seducer, as an unscrupulous free spirit who spares no effort for the sake of his erotic pleasure and who is later bitterly punished for his deeds. In Martin Kušej’s staging we encounter him as a shameless hedonist, handsome, rich, addicted to pleasure, harbouring no illusions about the value of feelings. Fear is an alien word for him; he is not afraid of hell or death.

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“Love, bio-politics, plastic surgery – they all work to prolong life and to outdo death”, says Martin Kušej. “This denial of death led Don Giovanni to the extreme of inviting death to dine with him. All his excesses lead to this final limit by continued negation: denial of morality, of his fellow human beings, of death. However, Don Giovanni’s rebellion leads to nothing and has no perspective. It is only moderately suitable for glorifying and providing Utopia and for bringing salvation. We despise Don Giovanni and want to be rid of him, and yet nevertheless we continue to want to see him because he reminds us of a dream: the dream of being able to newly design the world in a great egocentric gesture. We cling to the illusion that others are not in this world for themselves but entirely for us…”

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DON GIOVANNI
Dramma giocoso in two acts K. 527
Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte

Conductor: Daniel Harding

Director: Martin Kusej
Stage design: Martin Zehetgruber
Costume design: Heide Kastler
Lighting design: Reinhard Traub

CAST

Don Giovanni
Thomas Hampson

Leporello
Ildebrando D‘Arcangelo

Donna Anna
Christine Schäfer

Donna Elvira
Melanie Diener

Zerlina
Isabel Bayrakdarian

Il Commendatore
Robert Lloyd

Don Ottavio
Piotr Beczala

Masetto
Luca Pisaroni

Wiener Philharmoniker
Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor

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DON GIOVANNI – LIVE TV Broadcast – August 15th, 2006 – 9:20pm
This performance of Don Giovanni will be broadcast live on ORF 2 at 21:20.

(VPS 22:20)
AUT 2006
Dolby Digital 5.1
16:9
ORF 2 Europe
Duration: 3h 11min
Live

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In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.

Thomas Hampson