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Mozarts Don Giovanni

Giving Characters Character One of the most interesting challenges in operatic composition , is composing for all the specific characters. A composer has to distinguish between characters through his music. Jan cant sound like Fran , and Dan cant sound like Stan. Each character must have his or her own traits. Mozarts opera , Don Giovanni , provides us with many different characters to compare and contrast. One scene in particular lends itself to the comparison of Don Giovanni , Leporello , and The Commendator. Scene fifteen of Act two, places all three characters in close interaction with each other , making it easy to compare and find out how Mozart and his Librettist Lorenzo da Ponte brought them all to life. Lorenzo de Pontes libretto provides the main character traits of Don Giovanni , Leporello , and The Commendatore. It gives an easy way of distinguishing between the characters. Don Giovanni is portrayed as being smart , charming , and brave , yet selfish , arrogant , womanizing , and pompous. We see all of these traits in the final dinner scene. These opposing traits set up a love hate relationship of Don Giovanni. Leporello on the other hand , is wimpy , subservient , nervous , and a bit dumb. He is often the butt of Don Giovannis jokes , and is always being bossed around. He can be thought of as the comic relief of the opera. In the dinner scene we get a definite feeling of Leporello being a wimpy idiot. The Commendatore returns , after being slain by Giovanni , as a ghost. He is portrayed as being a mighty , powerful , and ominous. He tries to make Don Giovanni repent for all the terrible things he did. In the dinner scene he is truly a powerful being from beyond. His power is demonstrated when he sends Don Giovanni down to hell. The above character descriptions are what Lorenzo da Ponte set up for Mozart to compose his music to. We now can observer how Mozart used musical devices to give each characte...

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