This essay was written for the program book of the Opera Company of Brooklyn's concert performance of Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio (Die Entführung aus dem Serail)
Barbara Kraft, 1819
Wolfgang Mozart loved the human voice, and he loved to compose for it. Mozart’s special relationship with his singers, his unabashed love of the music of song, his intuitive understanding of vocal line and the interplay between different vocal ranges, his polyglot command of several languages and his brilliance as a musical dramatist, made him one of the greatest operatic composers in the Western canon. Yet, there is still a gnawing and unresolved issue in the meticulously examined life of this ineffable genius - Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart (1756-1791) - namely the waxing and waning of his popularity while he lived and after he died, tragically young and before his 36th birthday. This is nowhere more evident than in an examination of the history and public reception of one of his twenty-two fully produced operas, Die Entführung aus dem Serail - The Abduction from the Seraglio.
|The opening night playbill of Die Entfürhung|
at the Burgtheater, Vienna July 16, 1782