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Milan 29 Dec. 1770
Thank God, the first performance of the opera passed off to universal acclaim on the 26th: footnote1 and two things occurred that have never previously happened in Milan; namely |: contrary to every known first-night custom :| one of the prima donna`s arias was encored, although usually at a first performance no one ever calls out fora; and, second, there was an amazing amount of applause and cries of Viva il Maestro, viva il Maestrino after nearly all the arias, except for a few delle ultime Parti. On the 27th 2 of the prima donna`s arias were encored: as it was Thursday, with Friday to follow, they had to try to cut back, otherwise the duet, too, would have been encored, as the noise was already starting. But most people still wanted to get home to eat, and the opera, plus 3 ballets, footnote2 lasts a good 6 hours: but they`ll now be shortening the ballets, which last a good 2 hours. How we wished that you and Nannerl could have had the pleasure of seeing the opera! - - Never in living memory has there been such a desire to see a first opera in Milan as there was on this occasion, as there had previously been such a terrible controversy: for every two people who said that the opera would be good, there were 10 others who knew in advance that it was foolish nonsense, others that it was a mishmash and yet others that the music was German and barbarous. Here not even patronage helps to ensure that an opera is a success as everyone who attends is determined to talk, shout and criticize it in return for his money. Patronage was useful to us and, indeed, was necessary to ensure that the opera was not prevented from being staged at all and that a spoke wasn`t put in the maestro`s wheels while he was writing it and, later, during the rehearsals, so that he wasn`t prevented from appearing and a handful of spiteful individuals in the orchestra and among the performers were unable to play any tricks on him. footnote3 I`m writing this in haste as today is the 3rd performance. You know that in Italy people are always given alternative names, so that Hasse, for ex, is called il Sassone, Galuppi il Buranello etc. etc. Well, they`re calling our son il Sgr Cavaliere Filarmonico.
We kiss you both 100000 times and send our good wishes to all our friends, and I am your old
Mozart

You`ll be receiving a payment of 60 ducats in the name of Mme d`Aste or Troger Mariandl. I`ll tell you more next time.
Please use the following reference when citing this website:
Eisen, Cliff et al. In Mozart's Words, Letter 225 <http://letters.mozartways.com>. Version 1.0, published by HRI Online, 2011. ISBN 9780955787676.
In Mozart's Words. Version 1.0, published by HRI Online, 2011. ISBN 9780955787676.