Music: Not So Grand Opera

Chronically poverty-stricken Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wanted to be married, decided to compose a light little Singspiel to pay the bills, titled it Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio). To make it popular, he set it in a harem. He filled it with "Turkish style" music and costumes which were fashionable in 18th Century Europe, gave the heroine his future wife's name Constanze. After the Vienna premiere in 1782, Emperor Joseph II said: "Too fine for our ears, my dear Mozart—and much too many notes." Despite the imperial reservation,...

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