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Kierkegaard and the Copenhagen Production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
2018 (English)In: European Romantic Review, ISSN 1050-9585, E-ISSN 1740-4657, Vol. 29, no 1, p. 43-50Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article explores the early performance history of Mozart’s Don Giovanni (1787) at Copenhagen’s Royal Theatre, as a context for Søren Kierkegaard’s famous essay on the opera, which appeared in his philosophical work Either/Or: A Fragment of Life (1843). Focusing on the treatment of the supernatural elements in the opera, the author examines Lauritz Kruse’s Danish singspiel translation of the libretto, which was used by the theater from 1807 to 1839. Kruse turned Lorenzo Da Ponte’s enlightened comedy of manners into a romantic tragedy with religious overtones, but his radical reconceptualization of the drama conflicted with the portrayal of the title role by the Danish-Italian baritone Giovanni Battista Cetti who was the Don Giovanni of Copenhagen’s Royal Theatre from 1822 to 1837, and who partly inspired Kierkegaard’s interpretation. Cetti performed the role as a charming and sympathetic character, probably due to the influence of his teacher Giuseppe Siboni who, in his turn, was probably influenced by Luigi Bassi’s portrayal, the singer for whom Mozart had written the role. Hence the responses of Kierkegaard and other contemporary writers to Mozart’s seducer may be read as attempts to find meaning in a dramaturgically incongruous production.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 29, no 1, p. 43-50
Keywords [en]
Don Giovanni, Mozart, Kierkegaard, Oehlenschlager, Heiberg, romanticism, Siboni, Cetti, Luigi Bassi, opera
National Category
Performing Art Studies
Research subject
Theatre Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-152836DOI: 10.1080/10509585.2018.1417011ISI: 000424750500006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-152836DiVA, id: diva2:1181452
Available from: 2018-02-08 Created: 2018-02-08 Last updated: 2018-03-05Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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