John Tanner – Juan Tenorio – Don Giovanni

Screenshot 2015-04-14 09.00.57

I’m reading these days “Man and Superman”, in order to watch the National Theatre’s production knowing what the story is about. I am enjoying the reading very much, and I long to see the play live, even if above in the gallery heights.

Of course I could not help to listen again to Mozart’s Don Giovanni, being as “Man and Superman” is, a play about the myth of Don Juan. I like that opera very much and I have not heard it for quite a long time, although I honestly say that my favourite part is the comendador sending Don Juan to hell, as he’s the most unsympathetic male character I have ever the pleasure to know. I have always thought, given the “successes” of Mr. Tenorio in Mozart’s play, that he was impotent, or, at least, a premature ejaculator (most likely, given the length of the “catalogo”). Bernard Shaw makes the character decisively more appealing, the play is indeed funny and witty. Among the hilarious moments the surreal discussion between Mendoza, the Rowdy Social-Democrat, the Sulky Social-Democrat and the Anarchist. Maybe Monty Pyton had it in mind when writing the famous sketch of the Judea’s Liberation Front.

But, as I have also a certain percentage of superficiality in my little body, the above image has done more for my appreciation of Don Juan than Mr. Shaw’s play or Byron’s poem. It’s the cover of Mozart’s Don Giovanni that I have downloaded with Spotify and the man in question the bass-baritone Ildebrando D’Arcangelo.

la ci darem la mano
la mi dirai di si


4 thoughts on “John Tanner – Juan Tenorio – Don Giovanni

  1. “Man and Superman” is about Don Juan? Good heavens. I must read it immediately 🙂 And visualize: Ralph Fiennes! For some reason the Don has come up a lot lately in my studies. For example, I read that Albert Camus had a bit of a Don Juan complex which he wrote about in “The Myth of Sisyphus.” On the eve of his death he was writing love letters to four different women. Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?

    1. Yes, it is but in a “Shaw” way; in the first act we meet John Tanner and the other characters and in the second John is kidnapped by some English egalitarian bandits in the Spanish Sierra Nevada and there he dreams with Don Juan, Donna Anna, the statue and the devil. I have not finished it, but it’s really really funny and I just can’t wait to see Ralph Fiennes playing John Tanner:

      DON JUAN. Ah, there you are, my friend. Why don’t you learn to sing the splendind music Mozart has written for you?
      THE STATUE. Unluckily he has written it for a bass voice. Mine is a counter tenor


      Four different love correspondents without mixing them? Exhausting indeed

      1. As I told you when I read “My fair gent” I know very little about Shaw, this is the first play I’m reading and it’s so, so funny. I definitely will need tissues for the beginning of the third act. 😀

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