Casanova is The Divine Comedy's fourth album. It was the band's commercial breakthrough. It was released on Setanta and certified gold in the UK in July 1997. This was helped by the release of The Divine Comedy's first single "Something For The Weekend" which reached number 13 on the charts. The two other singles released from the album, "Becoming More Like Alfie" and "The Frog Princess", charted at 27 and 15 respectively.
The album is less classical sounding than the previous album, Promenade and adopts more of a Britpop feel. Its central theme is sex, around which all songs on the album centre, except "The Dogs and the Horses", which is the last song on the album and whose theme is death.
The first song begins with the word "Hello" and the last ends with "Goodbye."
Casanova had the longest recording period of any Divine Comedy album up to that point and consequently cost more. Setanta was able to indulge Neil's desires because of the success of Edwyn Collins' hit single "A Girl Like You."
Although more musicians were involved than on Liberation and Promenade, for most of the album, as with the previous two albums, Neil Hannon plays the majority of the parts himself, with co-producer/drummer Darren Allison directing proceedings. The album's last track "The Dogs and the Horses", which was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, features a large orchestral ensemble which includes future members of the live band, namely Joby Talbot, Stuart 'Pinkie' Bates, Grant Gordon, and Bryan Mills. Talbot was beginning to play an increasingly important role in the band; he arranged and orchestrated "The Dogs and the Horses," and he co-arranged "Theme from Casanova" with Hannon.
"The Dogs and the Horses" is very close to the musical style of Scott Walker's first four solo albums. "Through a Long and Sleepless Night," a track off Casanova, shares the same title as a track off Scott's first solo album.
An instrumental version of "Songs of Love" played on guitar (instead of the harpsichord featured on the album version) was used as the theme tune to Father Ted.