Sunday Morning Opera: Don Giovanni


My obsessive love affair with opera began on the afternoon of May 6, 1978 when Sherrill Milnes walked onto the stage in Atlanta, where the Met was on tour. I fell totally in love with opera, and at that moment, began my infamous career stalking the magnificent baritone. It was the first performance in which I saw him.  Ironically, years later, last time I saw him in a staged performance of Giovanni, in Greenville, SC.  I saw him several additional times, in recital, but never again in a production.  Considering the many times I was able to see him in a staged production, both at the Met, and elsewhere, I consider myself blessed.

It should be noted the hero in the murder mystery series I’m writing is a baritone, who meets the star of the series while he is staying at her motel (hiding from a wacky former girlfriend stalker), learning Giovanni for Salzburg, then to open the following season with it at the Met. Of course he is one of the leading baritones on the planet, allowing for me to indulge myself with love of opera and baritones.

Mozart’s Don Giovanni, considered to be the greatest opera ever composed, premiered on 29 October 1787 at the Estates Theatre in Prague.  The original cast:

Don Giovanni, a young, extremely licentious nobleman baritone Luigi Bassi
Il Commendatore (Don Pedro) bass Giuseppe Lolli
Donna Anna, his daughter soprano Teresa Saporiti
Don Ottavio, Donna Anna’s fiancé tenor Antonio Baglioni
Donna Elvira, a lady of Burgos abandoned by Don Giovanni soprano Katherina Micelli
Leporello, Don Giovanni’s servant bass Felice Ponziani
Masetto, a peasant bass Giuseppe Lolli
Zerlina, Masetto’s fiancée soprano Caterina Bondini


Let’s be honest here, all we really care about are the baritones! Don Giovanni features my very favorite anything in opera. There are some who have asked why I’m not married. I can’t find someone who can serenade me with this little ditty.

It has taken nearly a year for me to even reference our Beloved Dmitri. I still can’t listen to him, nor even gaze on a photo with out crying.

The best for last: