Mondays With Mary
Fortunate enough to work in Salzburg every summer during the Salzburg Festspiele, this year I heard a magnificent master class for singers and pianists by pianist Alfred Brendel. That led me to purchase a book that I recommend to all of you, entitled Alfred Brendel On Music: His Collected Essays, published by Chicago Review Press. Brendel is as witty as he is profound. Reading him is as delightful as is hearing him speak. As we prepare one of Mozart’s great operas, Così fan tutte, I give you below a few of Brendel’s thoughts on the master.
“Mozart is made neither of porcelain, nor of marble, nor of sugar. The cute Mozart, the perfumed Mozart, the permanently ecstatic Mozart, the ‘touch-me-not’ Mozart, the sentimentally bloated Mozart must all be avoided. . . . Mozart was not a flower child. His rhythm is neither weak nor vague. Even the tiniest, softest tone has backbone. Mozart may dream now and then, but his rhythm stays awake. . . Let us never lose sight of the humanity of this music, even when it gives itself an official and general air. The umimpeachability of his form is always balanced by the palpability of his sound, the miracle of his sound mixtures, the resoluteness of his energy, the living spirit, the heartbeat, the unsentimental warmth of his feeling.” (Alfred Brendel, ” A Mozart Player Gives Himself Advice”).
Combining Mozart’s magical, masterful music with the wit and wisdom of the libretto by the scandalous genius, Da Ponte, results in the basis for Minnesota Opera’s beautiful production of Così fan tutte. It has long been an opera that combines everything that we love about musical theatre….comic, absurd, tragic, profound, mysterious!
We are looking forward to seeing you in the audience at the Ordway, starting September 24! Tickets may be purchased online at mnopera.org, or by calling the Minnesota Opera Ticket Office, 612-333-6669.