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Thread: Mozart's "Voi Che Sapete" and Romantic Irony

  1. #16
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhdanov View Post
    it isn't about misogyny but disdain for ranks in a ranked society and this is gross.
    The whole point about Don G imo is that is is not about Don G but the characters that revolve around him. The Don only has two arias neither of which add anything to the drama or tell us much about him apart from the fact that he is a psychopathic womaniser. The interest in the opera is the way Mozart / da Ponte develop the characters and their emotions around the Don. Why a recent production at the ROH which focussed on the Don was such a disaster. That is not the point of the opera.

  2. #17
    Senior Member Zhdanov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    he sees women as only existing in order for him to add them to his list.
    that is not misogyny but rather the opposite.

  3. #18
    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhdanov View Post
    that is not misogyny but rather the opposite.
    May I write an opera about you?
    Alan

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  5. #19
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    The whole point about Don G imo is that is is not about Don G but the characters that revolve around him. The Don only has two arias neither of which add anything to the drama or tell us much about him apart from the fact that he is a psychopathic womaniser. The interest in the opera is the way Mozart / da Ponte develop the characters and their emotions around the Don. Why a recent production at the ROH which focussed on the Don was such a disaster. That is not the point of the opera.
    Don Giovanni hasn't attained its almost mythical aura because of the indignant whingeing of the Donnas Anna and Elvira and friends, but because it presents a compellingly realistic portrait of a dangerous sort of human being: a man without character, a predatory sociopath who exults in his power over others.

    The power of people without conscience is real; witness the ability of a Donald Trump to attain the highest political office, an achievement made possible by fundamentally fearful and ineffectual people drawn to the projection of power like moths to a flame, hoping either to experience a sense of power vicariously or to be saved from their own anonymity, mediocrity, and failure.

    That the Don is psychologically opaque is, paradoxically, a precise psychological characterization; lacking in either introspection or empathy, his "personality" is inaccessible even to him, and so he is a kind of black hole into which others fall. His two arias express perfectly what he has in place of character: a reckless, hedonistic energy, and a smooth, seemingly innocent seductiveness.

    The charismatic villain is an archetype, and the added magnetism of sexual attraction makes him irresistible. Without a charismatic singer/actor to project the Don's reptilian fascination (obviously a difficult assignment), the opera is pointless, the posturing and emoting of his victims and their consorts lacking any legitimate focus or raison d'etre, and the final confrontation with the statue even more of a glib deus ex machina than it is. (I'd find the opera more interesting if the Don got away with his crimes and the outraged ladies were left to contemplate their own roles as enablers, but perhaps the 18th century wasn't ready for that.)
    Last edited by Woodduck; Sep-30-2019 at 23:32.

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  7. #20
    Senior Member Eva Yojimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhdanov View Post
    that is not misogyny but rather the opposite.
    Care to elaborate on this? Despite being reluctant to spiral this thread into an unrelated tangent, I'm intrigued to hear an argument for how viewing women merely as sex objects to be conquered isn't only not an example of misogyny, but "rather the opposite."

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  9. #21
    Senior Member Eva Yojimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    The power of people without conscience is real; witness the ability of a Donald Trump to attain the highest political office, an achievement made possible by fundamentally fearful and ineffectual people drawn to the projection of power like moths to a flame, hoping either to experience a sense of power vicariously or to be saved from their own anonymity, mediocrity, and failure.
    Great post, but I feel like this bit could be elaborated on even further. With Trump, it wasn't just the appeal of power to fearful and ineffectual people, but the promise of that power being used for them. Despite being political opposites on issues, Trump and Bernie represented the same thing to many, and that was a figure of change who was willing to fight the powers-that-be for their benefit. Of course, the problem is that we ended up electing the conman rather than the man who actually would've fought for that change. Don G's appeal could be seen as analogous, in his praises and pandering he undoubtedly promised these women something much more exciting and passionate than their own lives, a "change" that they flocked to, only to realize that whatever excitement it brought it also left them without any safety or stability, aimlessly set adrift on the turbulent seas of their emotional aftermath. If only the other "Don" would invite the stone statue to dinner at The White House.

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  11. #22
    Senior Member Zhdanov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eva Yojimbo View Post
    Care to elaborate on this?
    well, at least, he kept a count, while other men wouldn't even bother.

  12. #23
    Senior Member ldiat's Avatar
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