Mozart, Da Ponte, and Censorship : Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte at the Vienna Court Theater, 1798–1804

  • On July 10, 1798, the German ensemble at the Vienna court theater presented the premiere performance of 'Die Hochzeit des Figaro', the first production of Mozart and Da Ponte's 'Le nozze di Figaro' – and indeed of any Mozart-Da Ponte work – at the court theater since Mozart's death and Da Ponte's departure from the imperial capital. A few months later, on December 11, 1798, a new production of Don Giovanni, titled Don Juan, arrived at the court theater stage. On September 19, 1804, a production of Così fan tutte followed, under the title 'Mädchentreue'. Although the productions were not extraordinarily successful in terms of performance numbers, they represented important trends in the Viennese reception of Mozart's operas that were to continue throughout the early nineteenth century. In particular, these productions left behind numerous records about the convoluted processes through which theatrical works were approved, re-approved, and revised before reaching the stage in Vienna around 1800. Particularly prominent among these processes was censorship. Yet, as this article shows, Viennese censors worked in tandem with numerous private and public agents who likewise contributed to the final shape of pre-existing works' adaptations. An examination of the censorial approaches to Mozart's Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte in Vienna around 1800 shows that late Enlightenment censorship was contradictory and multidirectional and should be considered not as a force of restriction but as an element that affected artworks in ways similar to other social, political, and cultural factors, such as patronage, audience structure, and various social and political ideologies.

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Author:Martin Nedbal
Parent Title (English):LiTheS : Zeitschrift für Literatur- und Theatersoziologie
Place of publication:Graz
Editor:Beatrix Müller-Kampel, Helmut Kuzmics, Marion Linhardt
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2019/04/25
Year of first Publication:2018
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/04/25
GND Keyword:Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus / Don Giovanni; Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus / Così fan tutte; Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus / Le nozze di Figaro; Da Ponte, Lorenzo; Zensur; Hägelin, Franz Karl; Österreich
Volume:11 (2018)
Issue:Nummer 15 = Das Politische, das Korrekte und die Zensur I
Page Number:35
First Page:75
Last Page:109
8 Literatur / 80 Literatur, Rhetorik, Literaturwissenschaft / 800 Literatur und Rhetorik
Sammlungen:Germanistik / GiNDok
CompaRe | Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft
CompaRe | Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft / LiTheS. Zeitschrift für Literatur- und Theatersoziologie
BDSL-Klassifikation:15.00.00 19. Jahrhundert / BDSL-Klassifikation: 15.00.00 19. Jahrhundert > 15.05.00 Österreich
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:LiTheS / LiTheS Nr. 15, 2018
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell 4.0