Mozart only wrote the overture to 'Don Giovanni' on the morning of the first performance and he filled it with references to the drama to come, as well as the brilliant chatter of the sparkling society in which it takes place.
In keeping with Orchestra Wellington's Bohemian theme for 2018, this overture has strong connections with Prague. 'Don Giovanni' was commissioned and premièred by Prague's National Theatre. It was presented as an opera buffa or comic opera. Maybe the cynical, wise-cracking character Leporello fits that genre, but the rest of the opera is about an amoral character cutting a swathe through polite society, and is as dramatic as the overture's opening chords suggest. Don Giovanni seduces, betrays and murders before eventually confronting judgement. But he remains defiant and unrepentant as he meets his end.
Recorded 1 December 2018, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington by RNZ Concert
Producer: David McCaw
Engineer: Graham Kennedy