Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's life
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is considered one of the best, if not the best, classical composer. Born in Austria in 1756, was playing beautifully the piano by the age of three. He then started learning the harpsichord and violin. By four he was writing his own music. Music came naturally to Mozart just like breathing. As a child Mozart toured Europe for three years with his dad and his sister, both talented musicians. He played for the rich, for royalty and for the public. As a teenager he mastered the piano and completed his first opera, La finta semplice. As a young adult he began touring again and still had talent and continued to write great music which he played for small audiences. Mozart also began teaching to make ends meet. As a composer Mozart made very little money and wrote many letters to publishers, friends and even acquaintances for small loans. It wasn't long before his wife became ill from not eating properly. Mozart also became sick. He didn't stop writing music though. One day Mozart was found at his desk unconscious and he had given one of his students precise details about how his last work, Requiem, was to be completed. On December 5, 1791, he died of rheumatic fever. Mozart's body was thrown into a pauper's grave in the churchyard of St. Mark in Vienna because he died a poor man and his grave was unmarked and his body unidentified. Mozart's music stands as an archetype of the Classical style.
Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebotes (1767), La finta semplice (1769), Bastien und Bastienne (1768), Mitriate, re di Ponto (1770), Lucio Silla (1772), Il sogno di Scipione (1772), La finta giardiniera (1775), Il re pastore (1775), Apollo et Hyacinthus (1776), Thamos, re d'Egitto (1779), Zaide (1779), Idomeneo (1781), Il ratto dal serraglio (1782), L'oca del Cairo (1783), Lo sposo deluso (1783), L'impresario teatrale (1786), Don Giovanni (1787), Le nozze di Figaro (1786), Così fan tutte (1790), La clemenza di Tito (1791), Il flauto magico (1791).
Mozart's Don Giovanni
Don Giovanni is a milestone in Mozart's production. Perfect and elusive, half comedy, half tragedy. The character of the protagonist is an extraordinary archetype as well as a symbol of freedom, almost pre-revolutionary (the French Revolution will be in two years time). Don Giovanni is irregular and libertarian (without being rakish), a sort of male version of Carmen, and he wants to embrace the divine as much as he can, supported by the faithful Leporello. He doesn't repent to Don Pedro and prefers to go to hell rather than giving up his lifestyle. The winner, in the end, it's always him, because he manipulates the hypocritical minds of the others, except Donna Elvira's irrational passion, like an overwhelming obsession.
Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro
Le Nozze di Figaro is the first puzzle piece of the Trilogy composed by Mozart and Da Ponte (before Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte) and it is an extraordinary musical and theatrical masterpiece. With explosive strength, this opera is a real new revolutionary wave for its time (1786). Inspired by Beaumarchais' comedy, it suggests a particular theme such as the conflict master-slave, with a very unusual approach, considering the time, where at the end we see the slave overreaching the master, thanks to his own cunning and his strong sense of independency and desire to recoup. All wrapped in a playful melancholy and soft awareness of feelings. Among heart tricks windmill, betrayals and reconciliations, the Count's begging for forgiveness offers an interpretation to what looks like a compromise: in Le Nozze, Mozart plays a game, but just like every game, it leaves you with a feeling of heart rending sadness when it's over. And so it is.
Idomeneo by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, had its premier at Residenztheater in Monaco in 1781. This opera anticipates many masterpieces after this, although maintaining a classic setting, typical of the Italian opera seria, with its alternate arias and actions. Mozart felt the urge to add innovations and tried to chain one piece to the other, using many recitative parts, accompanied by music. The protagonist role, Idomeneo, is a target in many tenors' career, even for great names of the Italian school, such as Luciano Pavarotti and, more in recent times, Giuseppe Filianoti and Francesco Meli. To this character is reserved also one particularly difficult aria, «Fuor del mar, ho un mar in seno». The two female characters, Ilia and Elettra, have different vocal needs, poetic the first and furious and dramatic the latter one. The role of Idamante is given to a soft mezzosoprano's voice, with a bel canto setting, but it is often supported also by tenors.