>> Sunday, January 25, 2009
Probably one of the funniest scenes in Mozart's hilarious comic opera, Cosi fan tutte, is the finale of Act I when the sisters' maid, Despina, comes out disguised as Dr. Anton Mesmer.
Mesmer, a late 18th century Viennese physician who was an object of ridicule by most of his contemporaries including Mozart and DaPonte, today is considered the father of modern psychology despite the fact that most of his medical research has been debunked and discarded. He was known for his experiments using large magnets in the treatment of human diseases and psychological disorders and is the one who coined the term "animal magnetism". We also get the term "mesmerized" from his name.