Don Giovanni, the complete title of which is Il dissoluto punito ossia il Don Giovanni (The Rake Punished, or Don Giovanni), is a two-act dramatic opera with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte. The opera premiered at the Nostitz Theatre (today the Estates Theatre) in Prague on 29 October 1787 with Mozart conducting. The theme of the work is the life and death of the seducer also known in literature as Don Juan. Critics and many opera lovers agree that it is one of the best operas ever composed.
Mozart was commissioned to write Don Giovanni during his stay in Prague in January 1787. While in the city, Mozart witnessed the great success of his previous opera, The Marriage of Figaro, which was not well received in Vienna. Mozart worked on the opera over the following months, but did not finish it until after his arrival in Prague on 4 October 1787.
Mozart stayed with composer František Xaver Dušek and his wife, the singer Josefína Dušková, at the Villa Bertramka in Smíchov, which had not yet been incorporated into the city of Prague.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, baptised Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart (27 January 1756, Salzburg – 5 December 1791, Vienna), was a Classical musical composer and piano virtuoso who created 626 works of a secular and sacred nature – operas, symphonies, concertos, chamber music, masses and choral music.
As a child, he performed throughout Europe. Later, he abandoned the position of court composer in Salzburg, but despite his considerable fame, never again found a paid position to secure his own livelihood and support his family. He was not interested in serving as a lackey of aristocratic society; he wished to remain a free artist. Mozart’s most famous works include the operas The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni, and his final monumental, albeit unfinished opus was his Requiem Mass in D minor.