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1992 production photo from Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni 1992

July 4 - August 28, 1992

The intrigue of Don Juan…

…lives on as the unrepentant rogue seals his destiny in Mozart’s masterpiece of seduction and revenge.

Music By
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto By
Lorenzo da Ponte


Act I

Leporello stands guard at the gates of the palace of the Commendatore, complaining of his life as the servant of the dissolute Don Giovanni. Donna Anna rushes from the house, in vain calling for help; Giovanni laughs as she desperately tries to discover the identity of her attacker. The Commendatore confronts Giovanni and is killed. Anna returns with Don Ottavio, but too late; overcome with grief they swear to avenge the murder.

Leporello pleads with Giovanni to give up his licentious ways, but he will not listen. Neither recognize Donna Elvira, the abandoned lover of Don Giovanni. When she demands an explanation for his infidelity, Giovanni asks Leporello to comfort her, which he does by reading the entire catalogue of his master’s many conquests. Elvira is more determined than ever to have her revenge.

The square is filled with peasants celebrating the wedding of Zerlina and Masetto. In order to be alone with Zerlina, Giovanni invites the entire group to his palace, ordering Leporello to distract the attention of Masetto. Giovanni begins to seduce Zerlina, promising her a different life once she surrenders herself to him at his palace. As the young girl weakens, Elvira appears and whisks her away. Donna Anna and Don Ottavio ask for Giovanni’s help in finding the cruel murderer. Elvira returns to continue the denunciation of her former lover to the grieving couple but Giovanni assures them that she is insane. Anna has recognized his voice and tells Ottavio that she is certain Don Giovanni himself is the guilty man. Ottavio finds it difficult to believe that a nobleman could commit such a crime, but swears by his love for Anna to know the truth.

Giovanni orders Leporello to prepare the evening’s festivities. He not only plans to seduce the beautiful Zerlina but intends to add at least ten women to his list of conquests.

Zerlina pleads with Masetto to forgive her for her moment of weakness with Giovanni. When Giovanni invites everyone into the palace for dancing and more refreshments, Masetto agrees half-heartedly to accompany Zerlina. Elvira, Anna and Ottavio, disguised as maskers, also enter the palace to spy on Giovanni.

Inside the palace the dancing has begun.  A toast to liberty is proposed and Giovanni ushers Zerlina into another room. When her cries for help are heard, Giovanni blames Leporello as the attacker. Anna, Ottavio and Elvira reveal themselves and denounce the Don himself, who barely manages to escape.

Act II

Leporello threatens to leave his master, begging him to give up all women. Giovanni laughs, explaining that women are more necessary to him than the bread he eats or the air he breathes. His newest interest is Donna Elvira’s maid. Giovanni insists that he and Leporello exchange cloaks so he might woo her as a servant and not as a nobleman. Still troubled by the love she feels for Giovanni, Elvira consents to join him. Leporello (disguised as Giovanni) leads her off so that Giovanni (disguised as Leporello) can serenade the chambermaid. Masetto and a band of peasants interrupt to ask the whereabouts of the Don. He sends them all away to search, except Masetto, whom he beats severely. Zerlina comforts Masetto promising him that her love will heal his wounds.

Leporello, still, disguised as Giovanni, attempts to lose Elvira in the darkness of the night. He is set upon by Anna and Ottavio, then Zerlina and Masetto – all want to punish him thoroughly! Elvira begs for their mercy which they refuse. Leporello finally reveals his identity and all are shocked that they have been fooled again. Ottavio asks the others to tend to Anna while he goes to the police to ask them to arrest Giovanni for the murder of the Commendatore. Elvira is torn between her love for Giovanni and her sense of deep betrayal.

Leporello meets Giovanni in a graveyard where each has gone to escape the searchers. A voice warns Giovanni that his laughter will cease before dawn. Giovanni angrily commands Leporello to read the inscription at the base of the statue of the Commendatore: “Here I await vengeance on the wicked man who brought me to my death.” As Leporello trembles in terror, Giovanni invites the statue to dinner.

Donna Anna urges Don Ottavio to delay their marriage until her father’s murder is avenged. She hopes that one day heaven will feel pity for her.

Giovanni dines alone, attended by Leporello and his musicians. When Elvira rushes in to plead with him to change his ways, he mocks her entreaties. There is a knock at the door; the statue enters. It asks Giovanni to repent but Giovanni refuses. The statue takes Giovanni’s hand in an icy grip, warning him that his time is up. Giovanni again defies it. Suddenly, demon voices are heard condemning him to eternal fire as the hell-creatures take him to his final punishment. Leporello screams in despair as Giovanni disappears into the abyss.

Hardly have the flames subsided when the others arrive. Leporello tries to explain the horror of what has happened. Ottavio and Anna, now that they have been avenged, plan to marry in one year. Elvira decides to return to a convent. Zerlina and Masetto will go to their humble home, and Leporello will look for a new master. They all then step forward to sing the moral of the story: “The death of wicked men is always just like their life.”


Richard Cowan headshot

Richard Cowan


Don Giovanni

Kevin Langan headshot

Kevin Langan



Santa Fe Opera

Joanne Kolomyjec


Donna Elvira

Carolyn James headshot

Carolyn James


Donna Anna

Ann Panagulias headshot

Ann Panagulias



Stanford Olsen headshot

Stanford Olsen


Don Ottavio

Herbert Perry headshot

Herbert Perry



Santa Fe Opera

Gregory Reinhart


The Commendatore

George Manahan headshot

George Manahan


Lou Galterio headshot

Lou Galterio


Miguel Romero headshot

Miguel Romero

Scenic Designer

Ann Hould Ward headshot

Ann Hould-Ward

Costume Designer

Craig Miller headshot

Craig Miller

Lighting Designer

Kimberly Mackin headshot

Kimberly Mackin


Gary Wedow headshot

Gary Wedow

Chorus Master