Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s fantastical opera Don Giovanni has three heroines in it. Donna Elvira, Donna Anna, and Zerlina.
Donna Anna is a noblewoman. She is engaged to Don Ottavio and at the beginning of the opera her father, Il Comendatore, was murdered. The action in the opera starts with Leporello sitting in the cold outside while Don Giovanni is seducing Donna Anna. (Who knows where Don Ottavio was at that moment?) When Leporello hears footsteps, he quickly hides. Don Giovanni enters with Donna Anna clinging on to him. She says that she will not let him run. Il Comendatore hears Donna Anna’s shrieks and runs to her aid. Donna Anna, seeing her father, runs off to get Don Ottavio. Don Giovanni kills Il Comendatore and exits with Leporello. Donna Anna is left mourning over her father’s death with Don Ottavio. Donna Anna once was attracted to Don Giovanni. If he was able to seduce her that means that she wanted to be seduced. Donna Anna is confused in what she wants. She is attracted to Don Giovanni, but she does not want to be unfaithful, but she has to avenge her father, but she also has to act like a noblewoman at the same time. . . Together with Don Ottavio, they decide to avenge her father’s death. Her head is full of emotions and feelings that are all jumbled up and she has a hard time sorting them all out. Donna Anna is confused.
Donna Elvira is also a noblewoman who was previously seduced and dumped by Don Giovanni. She wants t0 find him and cut his heart out. Hopefully, she does not mean it literally! Donna Elvira is always considered a comical character that always show up at the wrong moment. Well, it is the right moment for her but the wrong moment for Don Giovanni. Lorenzo da Ponte, the librettist, made her the comical character that is always hysterical and is always fighting against Don Giovanni through the words. Mozart’s music is beyond being comical. Donna Elvira has the most serious music in the whole opera, (not counting the Comendatore). Donna Elvira still loves Don Giovanni and wants him to return to her. Obviously, he does not even have that in mind. Donna Elvira is also confused in her emotions but she knows how to sort them out. Part of her loves Don Giovanni and desperately wants him back but the other part of her wants to kill him when she sees him. In other words, Donna Elvira does not want to suck up the fact that Don Giovanni does not love her and never did. She is trying to win him back all the time. She knows that once she loved and trusted him and thought that he did the same to her. Now, when she knows that it is not true, she does not understand how that can be. The other part of her is raging with fury. Why is Donna Elvira protecting Zerlina? Donna Elvira does not want Zerlina to make the same mistake that she did. But she also does not want to lose Don Giovanni. Donna Elvira is too chaotic.
Last, but not least, Zerlina. Zerlina is just a plain old peasant girl who is engaged to Masetto. Don Giovanni attempts to seduce her too but Donna Elvira comes and stops him. Zerlina is not attracted to Don Giovanni’s character or body. She is attracted to his status. He is a nobleman and she is a peasant girl. Of course, any peasant girl in her right mind will be happy. Unfortunately, Masetto is not happy. He understands that Don Giovanni will never marry Zerlina and Masetto thinks that Zerlina is tricked by Don Giovanni. Zerlina does understand that Don Giovanni will never marry her but she wants to believe that he will. Just like Donna Elvira who wants to believe that Don Giovanni still loves her. Zerlina is witty.
Who is the most important lady? I say that it is Donna Elvira. Donna Elvira is not only trying to save herself but also everybody around her. When Donna Elvira comes to Don Giovanni in the last scene and begs him to stop being immoral and love her, Don Giovanni is stubborn and refuses. In a way, she is even trying to save Don Giovanni from doom that is about to come upon him. Donna Elvira is the most important lady in Mozart’s masterpiece, Don Giovanni.
Written By: Rubina H. Tycoon