Mozart's Contribution to Opera
Mozart is certainly one of the greatest musicians, and his contribution to music can hardly be underestimated. Mozart is a great composer, who managed to write music not only fast, but also make it sound effortless and perfect. His music is undoubtedly unique, and it can evoke a great range of emotions. Although Mozart’s music was sometimes criticized for its complexity and large number of notes, still, his works are an inevitable part of the world of music. Mozart is a classical composer, who managed to make significant contribution not only to instrumental music, but to opera also.
It is believed that there are 22 Mozart’s works that can be related to opera or opera-like genre. Mozart’s first attempt in this genre took place when he was just 11 years old. It is important to note that Mozart’s first operas were much criticized, and they are seldom performed nowadays on the contrast to his later works. The main reason for such critiques was that Mozart’s early operas were not impressive and masterful.
Things changed much with the appearance of the opera Idomeneo, re di Creta ossia Ilia e Idamante, which was first performed in 1781 at the famous Cuvilliés Theatre. This opera based on a well-known story by Homer became Mozart’s first major contribution in this genre. Moreover, this opera received much positive appraisal as Mozart really managed to demonstrate the power of his ambitions and talent in it. Besides, the premiere of the opera Idomeneo and its success arouse interest and captured attention of the respected music court of Joseph II.
The next significant work is The Abduction from the Seraglio that is often performed till nowadays. This opera also caught attention of the music court of Joseph II; however, the appraisal was more negative. Discontent was based on that it was not a good and appropriate choice for a National Theater. Mozart’s idea to use German text rather than the Italian ones was also criticized by the musical court that supported traditional musical views. Anyway, Mozart was not afraid to break conservative and traditional boundaries, and his opera premiered in 1782 gained much success.
The mid-1780s were crucial for Mozart and his operas as, at that time, he decided to collaborate with librettist Lorenzo da Po. This collaboration turned out to be very fruitful and resulted in a set of true masterpieces. Some of the major works include Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte, and others. The first opera was finished in 1786, and this comic opera was highly appreciated by the critiques. Don Giovanni is one of the mixed-genre works that gained success at that time. Cosi fan tutte is also one of the greatest operas Mozart was also good at.
Mozart certainly had a unique style, and, although some of his operas have much in common with the Italian genres and contributions from the previous generations, the talented composer created absolutely exceptional and incomparable works. One of the significant features of Mozart’s operas is his talent to combine different elements, such as, for instance, opera seria, opera buffa, and others (Einstein 268). Some say that there are also elements of the German Singspiel style in Mozart’s famous operas. The perfect combination of these different elements can be noticed in Don Giovanni.
One more Mozart’s contribution to opera is that he tried to destroy the familiar musical boundaries and create something unique. Many composers admire Mozart’s ability to push the musical boundaries of opera to create certain musical parts that seem to be impossible from the first view. The Magic Flute can be considered to be such an impressive and somewhat impossible opera written by Mozart. The composer created a masterful and impressive vocal part for this final opera that was intended for the Queen of the Night character.
One more distinguished feature of Mozart’s operas is that he liked to make experiments with the cast. There was also a leading group of characters in his operas that was accompanied by a thrilling and impressive orchestra. Mozart’s characters are always full of realism, and this idea was important for the composer. The opera Don Giovanni is a great example of Mozart’s vision of realism, and the way he depicts the Count is both impressive and startling in this opera. The composer also uses dances for his operas, and he showed that it is possible to combine different types of dances at one opera that is certainly amazing.
As a conclusion, it should be said that Mozart without a doubt is one of the greatest musicians that made an invaluable contribution to the world of music and opera particularly. His early works were much criticized; however, the latest operas are deservedly considered to be grand and masterful. Every opera created by Mozart is carefully and thoroughly planned, and it is difficult to find at least one tiny detail and say that it is useless. Mozart’s operas are performed till nowadays, and many composers till try to imitate his impressive talent to combine different musical elements in one work. Mozart created a set of true masterpieces that make his music and opera particularly immortal.