Watch: Rolando Villazón brings Don Giovanni to life Photo by Harald Hoffmann/Deutsche Grammophon

Watch: Rolando Villazón brings Don Giovanni to life

Jenna Simeonov

In case you need another reason to fall in love with Mozart and his Don Giovanni, BBC Music has you covered.

First shown in April 2014, Mozart in Prague: Rolando Villazón on Don Giovanni is a documentary presentation about the environment surrounding the premiere performance of one of opera’s most enormous and enduring hits. Villazón visit Prague to tour the Estates Theatre, where the premiere took place; he even tests out the acoustics with a bit of Don Ottavio.

He talks with historians and experts about the public hype around Mozart’s tale of Don Juan, hears the sound of period instruments, learns the dances of the day, and explores the dangers of special effects in the 18th-century. We find out what the audience ate and drank during the show, how they wandered around the theatre, chatting and singing along.

Villazón is impossible not to love in most things he does, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that he’s an engaging documentary host who gets excited about all this history in an infectious way.

If you’ve got an hour to spare and want to get re-inspired, Mozart in Prague is a great choice. Have a watch while it’s still available online.

For more accounts of Don Giovanni in its home environment, check out baritone John Holland’s account of his chance to perform Mozart’s masterpieces on the Estates Theatre stage.

*Bonus: if you’ve watched the film Amadeus, you’ll recognize the look of the historical production. Super neat stuff.

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