Intimate Partner Violence in Don Giovanni

A group of people sit in a row in front of a purple screen reading Intimate Partner Violence in Don Giovanni: A Community Discussion
Our panelists for Intimate Partner Violence in Don Giovanni: A Community Discussion
(From left to right) Jack Sheinbaum, Rachel Rodriguez, Lucia McNeal, Danielle Pastin, David Lefkowich, Ellie Dehn, and moderator Amber Coté
Source: Lizzie Mulvey, Executive Producer of Investigative Journalism at RMPBS

In November of 2023, Opera Colorado brings Mozart’s Don Giovanni to the stage at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. For all the incredible music and visuals of this opera, the behaviors of some characters need to be further examined for modern audiences.

Themes related to intimate partner violence are common in this opera. The story follows a womanizer who uses his power and status to control and coerce women wherever he goes. According to the CDC, about one in four women and nearly one in ten men have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime and reported at least one impact of the violence (like being concerned for their safety). These statistics are jarring in their frequency and many people will recognize their own experiences in how the character of Don Giovanni treats others around him.

In October of 2023, Opera Colorado partnered with Rocky Mountain Public Media and the Rose Andom Center, a resource for survivors of intimate partner violence, to hold a panel discussion. This panel, featuring artists from Don Giovanni, staff from the Rose Andom Center, and others discussed how this difficult topic is presented in art and what resources are available to survivors.

Thank you to our panelists

  • Amber Coté (she/her) | Moderator and Senior Director of Community Relations at Rocky Mountain Public Media
  • Ellie Dehn (she/her) | Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni
  • David Lefkowich (he/him) | Stage Director for Don Giovanni
  • Lucia McNeal (she/her) | Client Services Manager at the Rose Andom Center
  • Danielle Pastin (she/her) | Donna Anna in Don Giovanni
  • Rachel Rodriguez (she/her) | Associate Director at the Rose Andom Center
  • Jack Sheinbaum (he/him) | Musicologist and Professor at the University of Denver


Watch the full discussion now

If you are a loved one are experiencing intimate partner violence, please contact the Rose Andom Center for assistance:

A lotus with green, blue, and purple leaves


Staff members of the Rose Andom Center will be in the lobby at every performance of Don Giovanni. Please visit them if you have any further questions.

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