Philippe Jordan On The New Mozart Cycle

Opera houses and artists always keep coming back to Mozart’s Da Ponte operas. Why to them exactly?

Because these three works are central not only within the Mozart repertoire, but in general within the entire opera repertoire. Everything is measured against them: they are the starting point and the foundation stone, and therefore have to be worked on over and over again, and questioned anew – musically as well as scenically. With Don Giovanni we are starting a journey, the effects of which may have the potential to influence the entire repertoire.

Is there a unique special feature of Don Giovanni within the entire (Mozart) repertoire, an aspect that does not appear in the other two Da Ponte operas?

In Don Giovanni the characters stand even closer to the abyss than in the other two Da Ponte operas. It is the first really great opera that points in the direction of Verdi and Wagner. Mozart now crosses a boundary here that he still kept with Le Nozze di Figaro. In Don Giovanni he sets forth an impulse that not only leads his development to a high peak, but also influences what is to come: Die Zauberflöte, Fidelio, Freischütz, Holländer and Ring des Nibelungen – they are all a result of Don Giovanni. You notice it, for example, in the orchestral part: it requires much more technical effort and more commitment on the part of each individual musician.