Italy | Milano
MOZART'S STAY IN MILANO
28.1. - 15.3.1770 ● 18.10.1770 - around 14.1.1771 ● 31.1 - around 4.2.1771 ● 21.8. - 5.12.1771 ● 4.11.1772 - around 4.3.1773
It was the first of five visits that Wolfgang would make throughout the course of his life. Following a recommendation by the Salzburg Augustiner monks, they found quarter in the monastery of San Marco. There, as we know, W.A. Mozart composed arias and motets for young singers (for instance Misero tu non sei KV73A). He also gave several concerts for the local nobility and finally received the long awaited commission to write a new opera. On 15th March 1770, father and son left Milan.
They returned in the following autumn to present Mitridate, Re di Ponto, and Mozart’s first opera for Milan. During this visit, they took private accommodations (where Largo Augusto is today).
On 26th December, Mitridate was performed for the first time. The first three performances saw Wolgang Amadeus conducting and playing the keyboard. The opera was greeted with enthusiastic public acceptance, and the “Regio Ducal Teatro” was sold out for months to come. Ascanio in Alba, Mozart’s second Milano opera (KV 111), met with a similar degree of success.
Two private excursions followed, and led Leopold and Wolfgang to Torino and Venezia.In December 1771, they returned to Salzburg due to the sudden death of Salzburg’s duke archbishop Schrattenbach. As their employer, he had been socially and financially supportive of the two Mozart. The new archbishop, Count Colloredo (from April 1772) had different ideas on music and, in particular, its position at court. The Mozarts only received his permission to return to Milano one more time (November 1772) in order to present Lucio Silla, Wolfgang’s third Milan opera (KV 135). This opera seria was performed 25 times. On the 4th March 1773, they left and saw Milan for the last time.
In the sixteenth century Milan was occupied by the French and subsequently subjected to decades of Spanish domination. The City underwent a period of decline lasting until 1713 when it was ceded to Austria. Under Maria Teresa of Austria economic reform and progress with an intense cultural revival favoured a lively intellectual climate open to new ideas inspired by Europe’s age of Enlightenment. When Napoleon’s troops invaded Milan in 1796 the Austrians were driven out and Milan became the capital of the cisalpine republic. After this turbulent period marked by ambitious urban building projects, Milan once again under Hapsburg rule, was conspicuous in the struggle for the independence of Italy. It joined the new kingdom of Italy in 1861 under Vittorio Emanuele the second.
Milan played a leading role for the industrial development of Italy from the end of the nineteenth century until the period after the Second World War. Recently it has emerged as a protagonist of post-industrial re-conversion. Milan is internationally well known as the productive capital and leader in the tertiary services sector. The dynamism of the environment is evident in the fields of finance, research, publishing, new technologies and last but not least as a reference point for fashion and design (Milano città della moda).
Milan’s world famous Trade Fair (Fiera di Milano) has recently been extended, incorporating a vast new exposition area. The city is the seat of renowned Universities and cultural institutions such as the Scala Theatre (Teatro alla Scala, Piccolo Teatro). Tourists can appreciate the city’s artistic legacy, and artistic and architectural heritage. Milan’s museums offer the public immense cultural patrimonies which together with the extensive network of exhibition areas have contributed to Milan becoming the second tourist destination in Italy with more than ten million visitors a year.
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