Gil Sperling

video, stage and music

How to Listen to Opera: Don Giovanni – an audio lecture

September 30, 2020 by gilsperling

To follow the lecture play the audio clips.
Feel free to write your responses to my questions in the comments below, in addition to any questions or insights you have. I’d love to turn this lecture into a conversation!

1. Introduction

Music Excerpt 1 – Overture

2. What is it?

Music Excerpt 2 – Overture detail

3. Setting up the drama; Act 1 scene 1

Music Excerpt 3, text and translation (ignore the video for now, follow the text!)



4. Facing Death

Music Excerpt 4 – Commendatore’s death repeated

5. Character

Music Excerpt 5 – Three Faces of Giovanni

6. Emotion

Music Excerpt 6, text and translation – Donna Elvira (mostly ignore the video…)

(The singer Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson is amazing but the staging in this video is not the best).


7. Coloratura

Music Excerpt 7 – Coloratura repeated

8. Meaning

Music Excerpt 8 – Overture detail

9. Meaning cont.

Music Excerpt 9, text and translation – Act II Finale

10. Repetition

Music Excerpt 10 – Overture and Finale compared

Music Excerpt 11 – Parlo, Ascolta repeated

11. Final Clash

Music Excerpt 12 – Pentiti Scellerato (now you can watch the video!)

12. Final Words

13. Thank you!

Your feedback about this learning experience is extremely valuable.

Please take a few minutes to fill out this feedback form. Thank you!

Posted in Fall '20 - Imagination and Distributed Learning |

One Response to “How to Listen to Opera: Don Giovanni – an audio lecture”

  1. Cynthia M Parker says:

    This lecture was informative and provided interesting instruction on how to listen to opera. The lecturer used definitions and added audio to provide examples which helped this learner. There are different kinds of learning and the lecturer used visual and audio tools to aid in learning. Commentary was very good and examples by the lecturer with his own singing helped greatly!
    Suggestion: Speak alittle slower. Not all learners can assimilate at the same speed. Very much enjoyed this learning experience.

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