The World's most beautiful music: Dalla sua pace from Mozart's "Don Giovanni"

>> Monday, May 26, 2008

In the scope of Mozart's vocal pieces, it seems that a small percentage of those works are for tenor. This is because Mozart composed mainly for the voices that were most readily available to him. The most famous of the Mozart tenor roles include Tamino in The Magic Flute, and Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte.

In January of 1783, a new group of singers arrived in Vienna who were to comprise the Emperor's newly-formed Italian opera company. Among this group were two English singers, (Nancy Storace and the Irish tenor Michael Kelly), with whom Mozart would later develop very close friendships. At first, Mozart seemed to regard Kelly primarily for his comedic talents and less for his vocal prowess, as the first opera that he composed for this group, (Le nozze di Figaro), didn't include a leading tenor role. However, in late 1786, after the opening of Figaro in Vienna, and it's huge success in Prague, Mozart decided to collaborate again with the Italian/Jewish librettist, Lorenzo DaPonte, on an opera based on the legends of Don Juan, entitled, Don Giovanni. The leading tenor role of Don Ottavio was most certainly intended for Kelly as well as the role of the servant girl, Zerlina for Nancy Storace, however they both suddenly announced in late 1786 that they would not be renewing their contracts with the Emperor and would be returning to England as soon as their current ones ran out. Don Giovanni was nearly completed by that time and the roles intended for Kelly and Storace would have to be given to whomever the Emperor hired to replace them.

Featured here is Don Ottavio's aria, "Dalla sua pace", sung by the late Swedish tenor, Gosta Winbergh. After hearing this, you'll wish that Mozart had more opportunity to compose for tenor.


Steph May 28, 2008 at 10:02 AM  

My god, they don't make tenors like that anymore.

Dalla sua pace has always been my very favorite of Mozart's arias. Period. What a great way to wake up; thanks!


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