Don Giovanni

This weekend I had the good fortune of attending a performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni, and I must report how amazing the experience was. Although I greatly enjoy classical music, opera has never been my cup of tea (too many thoughts of fat sopranos' voices piercing through my ears, among other factors), but if there was one reason that would make me welcome the idea (apart from Wagner), it would have to be Don Giovanni.

The music itself is great, especially as the climax of the piece, when the ghost of the Commendatore comes to punish Don Giovanni, rises to epic proportions. Apart from that, Don Giovanni himself really is the epitome of the aesthetic realm of immediacy so eloquently described in the chapter entitled The Immediate Erotic Stages in Soren Kierkegaard's Either/Or (if you haven't read it, drop whatever you're doing at the moment and go read it). So, in the performance I experienced the musical genius of Mozart combined with my thoughts of the intellectual genius of Kierkegaard, all in the context of the great visual effects of the Commendatore's ominous presence opening a portal to hell... who wouldn't find that enticing?

The video clip below is part of the film adaptation of Peter Shaffer's brilliantly Nietzschean play Amadeus, which is, in my opinion, one of the most artistic and powerful expressions of Nietzsche's distinction between master and slave morality.

This particular scene shows that fateful and most dramatic moment in which Don Giovanni is faced with the decision of entering the moral realm, thereby killing his aesthetic essence, or refusing, and therefore dying. This dramatic sequence is interpreted by the character Salieri in rather Freudian terms as Mozart's own relationship with his deceased father. In the film, of course, this becomes the seed that will grow into Salieri's disturbingly brilliant revenge on God's mouthpiece: Mozart.



By the way, Leporello is the awesomest character in the whole opera, hands down!
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