Monday, February 9, 2009

Don Giovanni is our Sinful Nature

I recently wrote a paper on Mozart's opera, "Don Giovanni."  I argue, among other things, that Don Giovanni represents our sinful nature. Here is an excerpt: 

The other characters in the opera demonstrate selfish desires through their musical interactions with Don Giovanni.  This musical evidence shows that Don Giovanni’s character is more of a psychological idea than a physical character. Zerlina sings, “Ah that I could deny thee,” but Don Giovanni cannot be denied.  He is irresistible. He is the driving force in the other characters.  They can resist Don Giovanni no more than they can resist their own thoughts. He is the crass nature of Leporello, the carnal natures of the Donna Elvira and Zerlina, the jealous nature Masetto, and the violent natures of Donna Anna, and Don Ottavio.  That is precisely why Don Giovanni adapts each character’s musical style. Consequently, Zerlina sings with Don Giovanni in perfect unison, “my heart is fondly thine,” on behalf of the other characters.