Kierkegaard wrote that Mozart's Don Giovanni is "a work without blemish, of uninterrupted perfection." Flaubert called Don Giovanni, along with Hamlet and the sea, "the three finest things God ever made."
Tchaikovsky always held Don Giovanni in the greatest awe and regarded Mozart as his musical god.
Last night was the opening night for the Opera House, Teatro Alla Scala in Milan and they performed Mozart's masterpiece, Don Giovanni. The orchestra was under the direction of Daniel Barenboim and I was there! In a wonderful program whereby the opera is filmed up close and personal and screened in theaters all over Italy, I was able to attend, see everything, from the stunning, sumptuous theater, the people coming in in all their beautiful finery, for example the President and the Prime Minister, the orchestra warming up and then the start of the opera with the gorgeous overture. We had incomparable seats for a fraction of the cost and close to home. What a great idea.
The quality of the music, singing and performances were astonishing, breathtaking. I located this aria, "Lá ci darem la mano" on You Tube, between Don Giovanni (an arrogant sexually promiscuous nobleman) and one of his many conquests to give you a flavor. He's trying to tempt her and it starts: "There we'll join hands and you'll say yes". They showed subtitles in Italian so it was easier to follow the dialogue and arias. They also had interviews with the director and conductor about their vision and the opera itself at intermission. It was an incredible evening.
To top it off, my friend and neighbor, who loves opera, came with us, as did our tutor and his friend. Afterwards, rather than go out for pizza, which was the first proposal, we all went back to our tutor's house for a late but delicious dinner whipped up by his friend. It was the better way to end such a full evening- in the presence of friends, sharing good food and wine, savoring the shared experience. A perfect evening.