Mozart’s seminal opera connects to audiences on many levels. To some, like GB Shaw, it is the acme of western art. The finale of the opera is one of the lyric stage’s most compelling creations. The opera’s last number is an epilogue. It was omitted in the opera’s Vienna premiere and from all of the opera’s performances in Prague during its first run save the first. It was routinely dropped for the next century. Today, it is invariably performed, as I think it should be.

Even after two and a quarter centuries the confrontation between the Don and the Commendatore’s statue is among the most powerful in all opera. This excerpt is from a live performance of the work conducted by Georg Solti shortly before his death. The Don is beautifully sung by Bryn Terfel who otherwise seems uninvolved in the action. Don Giovanni Act 2 finale