• Don Giovanni Educator Guide

What to Expect from Don Giovanni

What is Don Giovanni? Mozart called it an “opera buffa,” a comic opera. His librettist, Lorenzo Da Ponte, preferred “dramma giocoso,” a playful drama. Don Giovanni certainly is funny, but also deadly serious; rational, but also supernatural; sensuous but, at the same time, a cautionary moral tale—in short, it is one of the most complex and fascinating operas in the repertoire.

The same could be said for its title hero—a character that audiences, scholars, and artists have discussed for more than two centuries. He is a nobleman and a rake. He is the voice of a new Age of Reason, but he also embodies sin. Is he a great lover or a cheap skirt-chaser? Does he embody liberty or license?

  • Classroom Activity

    A full-length activity, designed to support your ongoing curriculum.
  • Musical Highlights

    Two "Musical Highlights" designed to focus on bits of music from Don Giovanni to cultivate familiarity with the work.
  • Performance Activities

    Performance Activities for students to enjoy during the Metropolitan Opera HD transmission.
  • Post-Show Discussion

    A post-transmission activity, integrating the Live in HD experience into students' wider views of the performing arts and humanities.

“Don Giovanni has a charismatic lust for life, but he’s not just some serial seducer; he’s a dark, complex individual,” says Tony Award-winning director Michael Grandage, who makes his Metropolitan Opera debut with this new production. “In the portrayal of this central character, we need somebody who is able to show many layers.” Baritone Mariusz Kwiecien has won international acclaim for his performance of the role and now brings it to the Met for the first time. He heads an extraordinary cast that also includes Marina Rebeka, Barbara Frittoli, Mojca Erdmann, Ramón Vargas, Luca Pisaroni, Štefan Kocán, and Joshua Bloom. The Met’s principal conductor Fabio Luisi conducts.

Through the activities in this guide, your students will encounter the many sides of Don Giovanni—both the opera and its protagonist. They will consider the work within the context of the political and philosophical excitement of 18th-century Europe, and they’ll examine the words, deeds, and moral character of its title character. By familiarizing your students with the themes and music of Don Giovanni, the guide offers an easily accessible introduction to this Mozart masterpiece. No matter whether this is a young person’s first or tenth opera, the activities contained in the following pages will enhance the experience of this Live in HD presentation.