Over this weekend and the last I've been listening to Mozart's Don Giovanni, from my boxed set of the seven big operas. It's not such an easy listen as The Marriage of Figaro simply on the level that there's so much going on in terms of variations of tone, it leaves the inexperienced listener (this one especially) wondering if he's getting the point(s). Having said that, I had no problems entering into the ferocious finale in which the Don gets wonderfully, awfully dragged down to perdition; and I think I got the point of the scene that follows in which the various survivors descant upon his fate. From what I can gather this scene has struck a number of critics as supernumerary, but I thought its function both obvious and necessary. So maybe I am growing in understanding of the conventions of opera buffa. Where I'm lacking is in my grasp of the musical conventions involved. Most of it sounds simply lovely to me and I'm not sure it's meant to.
The funny thing here is that you learn how to listen by listening a lot. A bit like learning how to read particular writers by reading and reading and reading them. I've got a lot of listening to do then - which can only be a good thing.