Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mozart and Prague: It's Complicated

"Meine Prager verstehen mich!" Those were the exact words of the genius composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. When we think of Mozart, we think about Vienna and Milan... What about Teatro di Praga, (now known as Prague State Opera)? That's where Mozart's Don Giovanni first premiered. In fact, Mozart conducted. Although the singers did complain that the opera was very hard to sing. 

Josefina Duskova

The first version of Don Giovannidid not include one of Ottavio's arias, Elvira's last aria, and the duet with Leporello and Zerlina. These amendments were made later for the second cast, now in Vienna. 
While Mozart was writing Don Giovanni, he stayed in Villa Bertramka. What? Where in the world is that?! Prague, of course! Home to Josefina Dušková and Frantisek Duškov, Villa Bertramka became a place to stay in for Mozart. Josefina Dušková and Frantisek Duškov, (husband and wife), encouraged young composers and offered their residents for free. The same couple later sponsored Ludvig Van Beethoven. Mozart stayed their with his wife, Constanze.

Villa Bertramka was later turned into Mozart's museum but currently is closed because of ownership issues. 
Villa Bertramka 

"Meine Prager verstehen mich!"  "My Praguers understand me!" 

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Written by: Rubina Mazurka

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