Opera Scotland

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Suggest updates

Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart

Born Salzburg, 27 January 1756.

Died Vienna, 5 December 1791.

Austrian composer.

While the fact of Mozart's genius has been recognised since he was alive, the profundity of his best work has been accepted with less consistency. Of his operas, Figaro and Don Giovanni continued in performance through the nineteenth century, while sometimes being regarded as light-weight, old-fashioned, even obsolete. Die Zauberflöte, Idomeneo, and Die Entführung were ignored until well into the twentieth century. La clemenza di Tito only became widely accepted later still. Così fan tutte, if performed at all, was regarded as a ridiculous farce, unaccountably saddled with fabulous music. Only in recent decades has it been given its full due as a work of profound humanity. Even today, some supposedly reputable directors still don't get it. Perhaps the most recent source of astonishment has been the discovery that Mitridate, composed by a twelve-year-old boy, turns out to be a work capable of astonishing power, when well performed.

There are minor works, of course. Some of his childhood output is charming, and not much more. A couple of mature works got no further than a handful of musical segments before he gave up on them. Zaide was left incomplete and the dialogue is lost, so we don't know the detailed plot, which is a tragedy, given the quality of the music we have. One of his last works was a singspiel called Der Stein der Weisen, but while it is fun, and points towards The Magic Flute that followed soon after, Mozart's musical contribution was minimal - two short numbers in an opera composed largely by his friends.

Operas performed in Scotland are shown in bold:-

01   Apollo et Hyacinthus, K38 (Salzburg 1767) (Widl)

02   La finta semplice, K46a (1768, Salzburg 1769) (Goldoni, arr. Coltellini)

03   Bastien und Bastienne, K46b (Vienna 1768) (Weiskern)                                                    

04   Mitridate, re di Ponto, K74a (Milan 1770) (Cigna-Santi)                                               

05   Ascanio in Alba, K111 (Milan 1771) (Parini)

06   Il sogno di Scipione, K126 (Salzburg 1772) (Metastasio)

07   Lucio Silla, K135 (Milan 1772) (da Gamerra, after Metastasio)

08   La finta giardiniera, K196 (Munich 1775) (Coltellini, after Calzabigi)

09   Il re pastore, K208 (Vienna 1775) (Metastasio)                                                              

10   Zaide, K344/336b (1779 unfin; prod Frankfurt 1866) (Schachtner)                                

11   Idomeneo, re di Creta, K366 (Munich 1781) (Varesco)

12   Die Entfűhrung aus dem Serail, K384 (Vienna 1782) (Stephanie)

13   L'oca del Cairo, K422 (1783 unfin) (Varesco)

14   Lo sposo deluso, ossia La rivalità di tre donne per un solo amante, K430 (1783 unfin)(anon)

15   Der Schauspieldirektor, K486 (Vienna 1786) (Stephanie)

16   Le nozze di Figaro, K492 (Vienna 1786) (da Ponte)

17   Il dissoluto punito, o sia Il Don Giovanni, K527 (Prague 1787) (da Ponte)

18   Cosi fan tutte, ossia La scola degli amanti, K588 (Vienna 1790) (da Ponte)

19   Die Zauberflöte, K620 (Vienna 1791) (Schikaneder)

20   La clemenza di Tito, K621 (Prague 1791) (Mazzola, after Metastasio)

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