Document Sample
NEH “Mozart’s Worlds” 2006

For my curriculum project I put together a powerpoint slideshow
to present the story and the music of Don Giovanni. To create the
slides, I scanned the photos from the “Barbie” book that I picked
up at the Albertina in Vienna, and also recreated the catalogue
aria concept that was done by Carah and Colleen’s group in the
class. I presented this slideshow to seven of the music classes
at my high school, as well as to the parent boosters. During the
presentation I narrate the story of Don Giovanni and play some of
the key musical excerpts, talking about their significance within
the context of the opera and the music of the Classical era. The
presentation lasted between 30 minutes and 1 hour, depending on
how much of the music was played, the amount of discussion and
whether or not scores were provided for students to follow along
while listening to the music.

I’m not skilled enough at using powerpoint to sync the music to
the slides, so I had the playlist on my ipod which I manually
controlled while delivering the presentation. To keep up the flow
and retain the attention of the students, in most cases I played
a few bars of the music at full volume to give them the sense of
what it sounded like, and then turned it down but left it playing
in the background while I talked about what was happening,
turning it back up when I finished what I was saying or when a
transition was coming up.

 1-3    Begin music "Notte e Giorno Faticar" - "Lasciala, Indegno!"
        Briefly talk about the history of Don Giovanni as presented
        in the slides.
  4     Introduce the character of Leporello, and talk about why he
        is whining at the beginning of the opera
 5-6    At 1:40 in the music (when Donna Anna starts singing)
        introduce the scene – explain what has happened and then
        advance to slide 6
  7     At 3:00 (when Commendatore enters) introduce the
        Commendatore and narrate the scene. Allow the music to
        continue briefly into "Ah, Soccorso! Son Tradito..."
 8-9    (no music playing) Introduce the characters of Don Ottavio
        (8) and Donna Elvira (9) and explain the plot developments
  10    Play the opening of the catalogue aria “Madamina…” and
        explain what it is about and the significance of its
        revelations in the context of the time
11-29   Play “Pimpin’ around the World” by Ludacris (clean version,
        available on iTunes) while advancing through the slides to
        present an updated interpretation of the catalogue aria
        that younger audiences can relate to.
 30     Play opening of "Giovinette, Che Fate All'amore" to set the
        scene of the peasant wedding. Introduce the characters of
        Masetto and Zerlina and explain how Don Giovanni goes about
        seducing Zerlina.
 31     Play "Là Ci Darem la Mano" and explain what promises Don
        Giovanni is making
32-33   (no music) describe plot developments: Elivira shows up and
        tells Zerlina what a bad guy Don Giovanni is, Don Giovanni
        agrees to help Donna Anna and Don Ottavio locate the
        “attacker,” and Elvira continues to beg Don Giovanni to
        take her back…
 34     Play the Champagne aria "Fin Ch'han Dal Vino" and explain
        its significance. In the other vignettes, Donna Anna has
        finally figured out that Don Giovanni is the villain she
        wants to avenge, and Leporello warns Don Giovanni that
        Zerlina knows what he’s up to.
 35     Play and discuss Zerlina’s “Batti, Batti” aria
 36     Describe party scene and play the ensemble with the three
        orchestras playing contrasting songs in polyphony "Da
        Bravi, Via, Ballate". Discuss how this was an unprecedented
        and significant musical gesture, and mention the connection
        with the three dances that are mentioned in the champagne
        aria representing the different social classes that Don
        Giovanni intendes to “mingle” with.
 37     Advance to this slide when Zerlina’s scream is heard, and
        summarize the plot developments
 39     Explain why Don Giovanni is bribing Leporello to switch
        identities with him
 40     Summarize plot: Leporello attempts to woo Donna Elvira
        while Don Giovanni goes after her chambermaid
 41     Explain how Don Giovanni evades Masetto and his armed
 42     …and thrashes Masetto. Play "Vedrai, carino"
 43     Leporello reveals his true identity to the characters that
        are in pursuit of Don Giovanni, and agrees to help them
 44     Explain the relevance of the Statue, and how it crossed the
        boundaries of the genre of “Dramma Giocoso”
 45     One by one, the characters beg Don Giovanni to repent
 46     The Statue arrives for dinner; Leporello is so freaked out
        he hides under the table. Play ensemble “Don Giovanni…” and
        identify the texture of the three voices while describing
        the pyrotechnics occurring onstage
 47     Cut to this slide at the moment Don Giovanni’s final scream
        is heard (6:15) and proclaim that he has been dragged down
        to Hell!
 48     Play opening of "Ah! Dov'è Il Perfido?" and briefly tell
        what happens to all of the other characters after the
        demise of Don Giovanni: Donna Anna tells Don Ottavio he has
        to wait a year to marry her; Donna Elvira joins a convent;
        Leporello decides he needs to find a better master; and
Masetto and Zerlina have dinner.

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