Liz's gift

>> Monday, January 30, 2006

My dear friend and co-worker, Liz Weisheit, captured a few moments from the big screening party with her camera. I swear that camera is an extension of that girl's eyes. She's incredible!

This first photo is of the piece by Mozart that I sang in the film (got cut in the final edit). I bought this particular collection of Mozart Lieder at Doblinger Musikhaus in Vienna, and had the crew sign the pages of Abendempfindung, the piece that I sang.

The next couple of photos are of the party spread and the wine table:












The girls from the clinic.








Herr Mozart ties one on for his 250th birthday.

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Checking us out

>> Sunday, January 29, 2006

For our friends in Europe who have now seen Mozartballs and have come to check me out, I have decided to post an entry with a little information about me that might be of interest to you. I do want to point out that I do have a profile page, so if you want further information, you can click where it says "My Profile", just to the left of this entry. My professional website as well as my website on the life of Anna "Nancy" Storace might also be of interest to you.

I am, of course, the partner of Steph Waller, who seems to be the person generating the most interest, (as well as controversy), in the film. Steph and I met on line in May of 1999 when I discovered her online portrayal of Mozart. For several weeks we carried on an online relationship with one another as "Mozart and Nettl", and we instantaneously developed a very close relationship in that capacity. After about two months, however, I learned that Mozart's portrayer was not a man, but a woman. That proved to be a bit unsettling for me at first, but after I had a few hours to think on it, and come to terms with it, I realized that nothing had changed, and that this person was still the same person I had come to know and love from the very beginning.

When I met Steph online I was married to a Southern Baptist minister and had been for 17 years. However, my marriage was not a very happy one and was in serious trouble long before I met Steph. In addition to my troubled marriage, I was having serious questions and doubts over my long-held religious and spiritual beliefs. I felt hemmed-in and caged by the narrowness of the Christian doctrines with which I had been raised, and from which I had not strayed my entire life. It was in my encounter with Steph and the ensuing relationship that it all began to change.

Steph and I met face-to-face for the first time in October of 1999, when I flew to Ventura, California to sing in an 18th Century Soiree held in my honor in her home. While I was there, I realized that my life was about to change and that there was little or nothing that I could do to stop it. The short of it is that my marriage ended in divorce in the spring of 2000, and by August of that same year, Steph was living with me in Stillwater, Oklahoma, the city where I grew up, and where I was working on my Master of Music in vocal performance and pedagogy at Oklahoma State University. In the following year, on May 25, 2001, Steph and I were joined in Holy Union at the College Hill Presbyterian Church, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is a More Light Church, meaning it includes members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered communities.

Steph and I currently reside in Stillwater along with her son, Joel, and my three teen-aged children, Lauren, Heather, and Nathan. Steph is a composer, free-lance writer/author, and Mozart historian, and works from our home. I am a mezzo-soprano and currently sing with the Stillwater Chamber Singers, as well as teach voice and piano. We have hopes to relocate to Vienna sometime in 2008.

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We're not the only ones who believe

I've been combing the web today, looking for sites about reincarnation and came upon this quote by Carl Jung, who was known as the father of modern psychology. I found this on Shirley MacLaine's website.

This concept of rebirth necessarily implies the continuity of personality. Here the human personality is regarded as continuous and accessible to memory, so that, when one is incarnated or born, one is able, at least potentially, to remember that one has lived through previous existences, and that these existences were one's own, i.e., that they had the same ego form as the present life. As a rule, reincarnation means rebirth in a human body. What happens after death is so unspeakably glorious that our imagination and our feelings do not suffice to form even an appropriate conception of it... The dissolution of our time-bound form in eternity brings no loss of meaning.


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Mozartkugeln preferences

>> Saturday, January 28, 2006

Last night's screening party was a memorable event indeed! There was much food, much drink, and many good friends to help us to celebrate this big event.

Amongst the many confectionary delights there were three different kinds of Mozartkugeln, those made by Reber, some made by Schmidt, and those by Mirabell as featured in the film. After the screening, we allowed our guests to sample each kind and the Mozartkugeln most preferred by our guests were the Mirabell, followed by the Schmidt, and then the Reber.

Now I will bring this entry to a close so that I can go and take a nap. I didn't get to bed until four in the morning and I'm exhausted. But before I lay down, I think I'll have another Mozartkugeln!

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A birthday tribute to my dear Mozzart Man

>> Friday, January 27, 2006

My mother told me a story many years ago of when I was a small child how I sat in front of the stereo listening to a Mozart piano concerto. She said that as I sat on the floor in my pajamas with the little feet in them, listening to the music, I began to cry. When she asked me why I was crying, I pointed towards the stereo and replied, "I have to find him."
"Find who?", she asked, "Mozart?"
"Yeah," I replied, "I have to find that Mozzart man!"

From that point on my life was a quest to find Mozart.

I know that Mozart means many things to many people. The film in which I have had the honor of being a part of illustrates that perfectly, and I marvel at how one life could touch the lives of so many people in so many unique ways. It's the music, yes, but it's much more than that. The music of Beethoven, Handel, and Bach is every bit as glorious, and every bit as ingenious, but there is a universal appeal about Mozart that transcends all others. For me, it goes beyond even the music. For me, it's about the man himself, and the music is merely an illustration of his heart. For me to hear Mozart's music, to sing Mozart's music, is to touch Mozart's very heart. I remember the day I did that for the first time, and my life has never been the same.

So here's to you, my dear Mozzart man. I'm so glad that I found you. Happy 250th birthday, mio Caro.
Ich liebe dich, Herr Mozart.
Deine Nettl

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Thanks are in order

>> Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Today we received a package from UPS. Inside was an anniversary tin of Reber Mozartkugeln, and a box of Pernigotti Italian Gianduiotti chocolates along with a card that said "Have a ball at your screening."

We are assuming that these are from you, Paul, and the Austrian/Italian symbolism wasn't lost on us either, (Mozart and Nancy). We wanted to thank you for the lovely gesture. As always, dear friend, it is in the utmost of taste. Our only regret is that you will not be here to share them with us.

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Rehearsals for Coronation Mass begin

>> Monday, January 23, 2006

Today we began rehearsals for the Mozart Coronation Mass in C with The Stillwater Chamber Singers. It's amazing to me each time I sing Mozart at how natural it feels to sing his music. Mozart loved the human voice and his voice leadings are so melodic and make so much musical sense that it feels very easy and very natural to sing. We've already read through the entire piece, which really isn't one of Mozart's most difficult Masses, but certainly one of his most lovely.

Performances are Saturday, February 25, and Sunday February 26, in the Seretean Center Concert Hall at Oklahoma State University.

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Plastered

>> Saturday, January 21, 2006

I have to admit that it's a little disconcerting to find your picture plastered all over the web in conjunction with articles in French and German informing viewers of the airing of Mozartballs. This picture happens to be the first that we've found that has me in it. It comes from this article announcing the airing of the film in Switzerland.

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Mozart 2006

>> Friday, January 20, 2006

I'm sure that most have you have noticed that every entry I have on my blog since the first of January has been Mozart related. Mozart's 250th birthday is a week from today, January 27th and the entire year has been declared the "Mozart year", with celebrations, Mozart festivals, concerts and Mozart operas being performed all over the world. Although all of my January entries will be dedicated to Mozart, starting February 1st, I will return to my "regularly scheduled program". There will be the occasional Mozart "update" throughout the entire year, but not concentrated as it has been this month. I hope I've not bored you with my indulgence, but seeing that Mozart has literally changed my life, and this kind of celebration and focus on Mozart doesn't happen every day, I simply couldn't resist.

So here's to Mozart 2006! And here's to that annoying little man in the red coat! May his legend live on for another 250 years!

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OK Mozart opens 2006 Mozart Year with...

Gilbert & Sullivan? What the fuck is up with this? This is the OK MOZART Festival for fuck's sake and it's Mozart's 250th frikkin' birthday, and the OK MOZART Festival is barely throwing Mozart a fucking bone!

I'm so pissed off over this one I'm cross-eyed. (My friend Dan L. over in the Mozart Forum needs to get a picture of this--he's really into crossed eyes these days...)

I really don't understand this. I mean one would assume that a major Mozart Festival would be featuring at least two major Mozart works in the Mozart year? Is that not reasonable? Apparently not for OK Mozart. They're opening the festival with a lesser-known Gilbert and Sullivan work, "The Sorcerer". The second night features the Van Cliburn silver medalist playing Bach, Medtner, Chopin, and Liszt--absolutely NO Mozart whatsoever! The Thursday Concert features a Bluegrass band. Oh Whoa! Wait a minute...Wednesday June 14th we're being treated to the Mozart Symphony No. 40 in G minor. Gee thanks! And the Grand Finale Concert ends with the TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4 in F Minor. They're ending the 250th Birthday Celebration OK Mozart Festival with Tchaikovsky?

And let me mention that events in-between the major concerts include a Praise Band, jewelry and soap-making workshops, Churchband, Jambalaya Jass Band, the Bartlesville High School Steel Drum Band, Shroud of Turin-Taking Another Look, Frybread making, Little Princess tea, Pride of the Prairie Western Music, Victorian hat making workshop, Working with Chocolate, (suppose there will be any Mozartkugeln?), Men's and Women's Vintage Style Show, Cow Girls of the Wild West shows...

Need I mention more? Somebody get me out of this fucking redneck state!

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Okay, I'm dyin' here

>> Thursday, January 19, 2006

When I checked my mail this morning, I found this precious little morsel. Methinks my love doth have the most engaging eyes! Imagine what it must be like to awaken to this every morning! LOL!

Have a wonderful day everyone!

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Mozart Heresy

>> Sunday, January 15, 2006

I'm not the kind of person who accepts things at face value, nor am I one to accept an idea, concept, or belief simply because it is the most accepted, most popular, the latest trend, or the one that so-called experts agree upon. In fact, if the truth be known, I am probably most likely to stand on the side of the least popular theory, idea, or concept because I have learned from experience that generally the most popular or widely accepted belief is most likely the one that is in error. This has played out in most areas in my life, including my personal studies and beliefs about Mozart.

Among Mozart "fanatics" I'm not generally very popular. I believe things about Mozart and about his personal life that are, for the most part, controversial, but in my opinion make better sense within the context of his life than some of the more popular thoughts and ideas. For instance, a lot of folks place tremendous stock in the Mozart letters and the things that Mozart wrote to his father, his sister, and his wife. I do not. Why? Because study has revealed in many instances that what Mozart wrote in those letters, especially to his father, was not necessarily the case. In other words, Mozart lied. He told Leopold things that he knew Leopold wanted to hear. And if he did this with Leopold, he most likely did it with others, including his wife. Much of the devotion and undying affection we read in his letters to Constanze, (during her long stays at the spa in Baden), are actually pleas to her to act kindly towards him, begging her to be more careful with her reputation, not to be so easy to comply (towards the advances of other men?), and to "love me half as much as I love you." In one sentence he tells her how desperately he misses her yet only a few sentences later he encourages her to stay at the spa longer, despite the longer separation and the cost. One gets the impression that he is in no hurry to have her back home, and that his overtures of undying affection are merely attempts to appease her and to keep her from suspicion.

Mozart was very much an enigma: an idealistic, playful, and at times, even childish man, who suffered with periods of black depression, ill health, poor finances, and frustration over the limitations placed upon him by those in authority over him. He was a lover of women, and not in the misogynistic or sexist sense of the word. Mozart had a tremendous respect for women, and an idealistic view of marriage, yet at the same time, I believe that he had a less than happy marriage, and that in the latter years of his life the relationship between he and Constanze was quite troubled. It is my opinion that most of the trouble between them began when he met Anna Storace, the singer for whom he and Lorenzo DaPonte created the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro. I side with the late, great Mozart historian, Alfred Einstein, concerning Mozart's feelings for and relationship with Anna Storace, (called "Nancy" by those closest to her). Einstein believed that Mozart was in love with her and that the concert aria that he composed for her as a farewell gift in 1787, (Ch'io mi scordi di te...Non temer amato bene, K. 505), was actually a love letter set to music, an idea that has been met with much criticism in the last few years, especially by those who have joined the crusade to rescue Constanze from her maligned reputation.

I find that when I'm in a group of "Mozarteans", it is best that I keep my thoughts and opinions to myself, unless, that is, I'm in the mood for a heated argument. But those who know me best know that I'm not afraid to embrace heretical thought be it religion or Mozart, and this is my blog, and here my opinion rules.

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DNA test confirmed - Skull not Mozart's

>> Sunday, January 8, 2006

In a television documentary aired this evening in Austria and Germany, scientists released the results of the DNA tests on the skull that for over 200 years has been touted as Mozart's. DNA tests obtained from skeletons exhumed from the Mozart family plot were inconclusive because it could not be determined who the bones belonged to. However, the skull was tested against two hair samples previously authenticated as Mozart's and the DNA from the skull did not match the Mozart hair samples. Therefore, the results are confirmed, the skull in the Mozarteum is not Mozart's.

Thank goodness we can now put it to rest...literally.

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Thomas Linley, the younger

>> Saturday, January 7, 2006

Thomas Linley, the Younger, was born on May 7, 1756, in Bath England, the same year as Mozart. The two met one another while in Italy studying and performing. Thomas was a brilliant violinist and composer and like Mozart, a prodigy. The friendship that ensued between them was fast and deep, and Mozart vowed that one day he would return to England and strike up a musical partnership with Linley.

Thomas returned to England in 1771 and became a leading figure in the London musical world. Through his father's appointment, he became the director of the Drury Lane theatre orchestra as well as musical director for the theatre. It was during this time that the Linleys probably became close friends with the Storaces. There is even some speculation that the Linleys and the Storaces were in the process of arranging a marriage between Thomas and the Storaces' young daughter, Anna "Nancy", after she became of age. However none of this would come to pass as Thomas died tragically in a boating accident at Grimsthorpe Castle on August 5, 1778, at the age of twenty-two. (At the time, Nancy was touring and singing in Italy, and Mozart was still living in Paris, after the death of his mother in July of that same year.) Peter Holman notes that Linley's early death was a tragedy for English music, as Mozart recognised. He told Michael Kelly in 1784 that 'Linley was a true genius' who 'had he lived, would have been one of the greatest ornaments of the musical world'.

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Wolfgang's naughty cousin

>> Friday, January 6, 2006

Another interesting woman looms large in the Mozart legend. Maria Anna Thekla Mozart, (Mozart called her "Das Bäsle"), Wolfgang's first cousin on his father's side, lived in Augsburg. Mozart met her for the first time when he traveled to Augsburg with his mother in 1777. While there, he struck up a friendship that is believed by many to have been more than platonic. Many were under the impression, including Bäsle, that Mozart had intentions to marry her. Between the years of 1777 and 1781 Mozart and Bäsle wrote a series of letters to one another that were full of obscenities, anal-erotic language, and perhaps even code words and phrases that only they understood. Nine of these letters survive and have become some of the most defining letters of this period in Mozart's life. Their relationship ended very abruptly when Wolfgang announced his engagement to Constanze Weber of Mannheim. Bäsle never married and had one illegitimate child, a daughter, Maria Josepha, by canon Dr. Theodor Franz de Paula Maria Baron of Reibeld.

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Is it a Holy Relic?

>> Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Since 1901 Mozart historians and lovers alike have been mystified by the question of whether or not the skull on display at the Mozarteum is really that of Wolfgang A. Mozart. This coming Sunday we are finally going to get the results of DNA testing that will put an end to the questions. The skull at the source of all the controversy has been tested against the DNA of both Mozart's father, Leopold and a niece, his sister Nannerl's daughter.

The story of how the skull was obtained is rather intriguing, as well as gruesome. The following was obtained from castleofspirits.com.

In 1801 the St. Marx' Cemetery Trust had the third class plot in which Mozart and 15 to 20 others were buried retrenched, which was an automatic procedure every 10 years to enable graves to be reused. The cemetery, which opened in 1784, only had room for 7.000 graves and space was always at a premium. Wealthy residents bones were cleaned and placed in a charnel house with their names painted on the skull whereas the bones of the poorer folk were exhumed and crushed, reinterred in the Vienna Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) or disposed of in some other way. Mozart's grave was reopened by Joseph Rothmayer, the same grave digger/sexton who had buried him a decade earlier. Rothmayer said he knew before the burial what Mozart's ultimate fate would be so had tied wire around his corpse neck to enable him to distinguish the remains from the others, knowing the exact location of the body he sought it out and saved the skull from the bone crusher. "Joseph Rothmayer gave it to friend Joseph Radschopf, who in turn gave it to his friend Jacob Hyrtl in 1842. When Hyrtl died in 1868, his brother Joseph inherited the skull. Joseph was a Viennese phrenologist. Upon his death, Joseph's wife held onto to the skull until her death in 1901. It was then bequeathed to the International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg. In 1902 until the 1955, the skull was placed on public view in the Foundation's Museum". [1] Where it remains today, although no longer on public display, when it was on display museum staff found it creepy. Prior to being pulled from view museum staff reported strange phenomena they believed emanated from it, staff claiming to have heard music even screams emanating from the cabinet in which it was displayed. There were reports that previous owners also experienced such phenomena, hence why it ended up at the said museum.

Personally I hope that the skull in question doesn't belong to Mozart. Why? Because Mozart is already worshiped as a saint. We don't need a Holy Relic. Besides that, it's just macabre. If the skull belongs to Mozart, then it should be laid to rest and certainly not displayed in a circus sideshow fashion in a glass case. Give the poor man some dignity for Christ's sake! And if it doesn't belong to Mozart, then give whoever it belongs to the dignity of being returned to the earth. Mozart or not, I hope this puts it to rest.

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