Excerpt from Don Giovanni: An Opera in Two Acts The genesis of Mozart's music is less plain. In the autograph catalogue which Mozart kept there 15 no entry between June 24 and August 10, and it seems a fair inference that he gave up the month of july to the opera. He entered the overture under date of October 28, one day before its public production. Evidently he had brought the unfinished score with him to Prague in September and there completed it, working principally in a summer house of his friends, the Duscheks, who lived in the suburbs of the City. Oh the evening of the day on which the first performance was announced, the overture had not been begun. How it was written is a familiar story. Until a late hour at night he sat with a party of merry friends. Then he went to his hotel and prepared to work. Oh the table was a glass of punch, and his wife sat beside him to keep him awake by telling him stories. In spite of all sleep overcame him, and he was obliged to interrupt his work for several hours; yet at seven o'clock in the morning the copyist was sent for and the overture was ready for him. The tardy work delayed the representation in the evening and the orchestra had to play the overture at sight; but it was a capital band, and Mozart, who conducted, complimented it when he started into the introduction to the first air. The performance was completely successful and floated buoyantly on a tide of enthusiasm. Which set in when Mozart entered the orchestra, and rose higher and higher as the music went on. On November 4 Mozart wrote to a friend: On October 29 my opera Don Giovanni' was put m scma With the most unqualified success. Yesterday it was performed for the fourth time, for my benefit. I only wish my good friends (particularly Bridi and your self) could be here for a single evening to share in my triumph. Perhaps it Will be performed in Vienna. I hope so They are trying all they can to persuade me to remain two months longer and write another opera; but, flattering as the proposal is, I cannot accept it.
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