Don Giovanni: the Characters and Their Music Essay

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Don Giovanni: The Characters and Their Music
Giving Character's character is one of the most interesting challenges in operatic composition; another is composing for all the specific characters. A composer has to distinguish between characters through his music. Jan can't sound like Fran, and Dan can't sound like Stan. Each character must have his/her own traits. Mozart's opera, Don Giovanni, provides us with many different characters to compare and contrast.
One scene in particular lends itself to the comparison of Don Giovanni, Leporello, and The Commendator. Scene fifteen of Act two, places all three characters in close interaction with each other, making it easy to compare and find out how Mozart and his Librettist Lorenzo da Ponte
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Mozart really makes his nervousness obvious by giving him notes no longer in value than a quarter note. Mozart uses dotted eights to sixteenth notes to make his part especially disjointed. This creates the effect of someone shaking from fear as they are trying to speak. Mozart also uses a continuous triple pattern, which begins at measure 470, to create a rambling effect. Leporello seems to have lost his sanity from fright of the statue, and is now babbling incoherently.
Don Giovanni and the Commendator have very different rhythmic vocal parts then Leporello. They are much more bold and brave then Leporello, so Mozart gives them a more solid rhythm. The Commendator has the most stable part out of all of them. He has many whole and half notes. The stability of the rhythm adds to the confidence and power of his character. The only time his rhythm becomes quicker is when he is yelling at Don Giovanni to repent. Don Giovanni shares many similar rhythmic traits as the Commendator, although it has a little more diversity.
Don Giovanni shifts from being comfortable to uncomfortable throughout the dinner scene. In this situation, Mozart appropriately varies the speed of Don Giovanni's rhythm. An example of this occurs at measure 522. Previous to this measure, Don Giovanni has a stable rhythm with most words occurring on the strong beats. It abruptly

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