A cenar teco

Echoes of Mozart's Don Giovanni in Ulysses include not only the sexual excitement of Là ci darem la mano and the servile aspirations of Leporello's voglio but also Giovanni's passion for food and drink, which figures in climactic scenes at the end of both acts. In Lestrygonians, as Bloom walks away from Davy Byrne's feeling better for a sandwich and a glass of burgundy, he thinks of the powerful scene at the end of Act 2 in which a statue accepts an invitation to supper: "Don Giovanni, a cenar teco / M'invitasti." And in Sirens, after an early supper at the Ormond, he recalls the feast that Giovanni throws for some peasants at the end of Act 1. Both references involve moral judgment. In the scene with the statue, food links Giovanni's riotous hedonism with the divine justice that Lorenzo da Ponte's libretto finally metes out to him. The earlier scene makes Bloom think of Irish peasants who starved while aristocrats thrived.

John Hunt 2021

Still from a Sarasota Opera performance in 2020, showing the Commendatore and Don Giovanni at the end of the opera. Source: malabar.net.

Engraving by an unknown artist in an 1811 Breitkopf & Härtel vocal score that  shows the Commendatore and Don Giovanni at the same moment, next to a loaded dinner table. Source: www.buechel-baur.com.

The ballroom scene, with Thomas Allen as Don Giovanni, Claudio Desderi as Leporello, Bryn Terfel as Masetto, and Marta Marquez as Zerlina, in a 1992 performance at Covent Garden. Source: www.youtube.com.

"Don Giovanni, a cenar teco m'invitasti," with Samuel Ramey as Don Giovanni,  Kurt Moll as the Commendatore, and Ferruccio Furlanetto as Leporello in a 1990 performance at the Metropolitan Opera. Source: www.youtube.com.

The Commendatore's opening bars. Source: musescore.com.