Don Juan, ou Le Festin de Pierre

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Don Juan, ou Le Festin de Pierre ("Dom Juan or The Feast of Stone") can refer to a play by Molière or to a ballet by Gluck and Calzabigi (1761).

For details of Molière's play, go to Dom Juan, ou Le Festin de Pierre

The original ballet

Don Juan, ou Le Festin de Pierre is a ballet by Christoph Willibald von Gluck (music)[1], Ranieri de' Calzabigi (libretto)[2] and Gasparo Angiolini (original choreography)[3].

Drawing on the legend of Don Juan and the plays by De Molina and Molière, the ballet was an innovative piece, containing a coherent narrative telling of Don Juan's descent into Hell after killing his lover's father in a duel.

First performed at the Theater am Kärntnertor, Vienna, on 17 October 1761.

Translations and adaptations

Based on the Don Juan legend, it was first performed in 1676 and published by Henry Herringman in the same year. Shadwell's play is best known in South African through Don Juan, or The Libertine Destroyed a "grand pantomimical ballet" version by Carlo Antonio Delpini (??-1828)[4], which was first performed at the Theatre-Royal, Drury-Lane, on Tuesday, the 26th of October, 1790, "with songs, duets and choruses by Mr Reeve and music by Mr Gluck".

Performance history in South Africa

1866: Performed in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town by the Le Roy and Duret Company in 1866. Described as a "Magnificent Ballet" , it was probably a company version of Gluck and Calzabigi's Don Juan, ou Le Festin de Pierre. Performances took place on 20 September (with Jocrisse the Juggler by D'Ennery and Brésil ); 22 September (with The Queen of the Abruzzi by and Little Sentinel by); 25 September (once more with Jocrisse the Juggler) and 27 September (with Retribution by Taylor).


F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.212-215

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