The Original Portrayal of Mozart’s Don Giovanni offers an original reading of Mozart’s and Da Ponte’s opera Don Giovanni, using as a lens the portrayal of the title role by its creator, the baritone Luigi Bassi (1766–1825).

Although Bassi was coached in the role by the composer himself, his portrayal has never been studied in depth before, and this book presents a large number of new sources (first- and second-hand accounts), which allows us to reconstruct his performance scene by scene. The book confronts Bassi’s portrayal with a study of the opera’s early German reception and performance history, demonstrating how Don Giovanni as we know it today was not only created by Mozart, Da Ponte and Luigi Bassi but also by the early German adapters, translators, critics and performers who turned the title character into the arrogant and violent villain we still encounter in most of today’s stage productions.

Incorporating discussion of dramaturgical thinking of the late Enlightenment and the difficult moral problems that the opera raises, this is an important study for scholars and researchers from opera studies, theatre and performance studies, music history as well as conductors, directors and singers.

chapter |14 pages


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chapter 1|39 pages

Luigi Bassi as Don Giovanni

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chapter 2|14 pages

The opening scene

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chapter 3|30 pages

Don Giovanni and the three women

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chapter 4|33 pages

The party episode

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chapter 5|24 pages

The disguise episode

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chapter 6|13 pages

The graveyard scene

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chapter 7|45 pages

The second finale

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chapter |14 pages


In defence of the operatic work
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