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À Madame / Marie Anne Mozart / à / Salzbourg / par Mantova

Milan 21 Sept. 1771

The first orchestral rehearsal of Sgr Hasse`s opera will take place today after the Angelus. He`s well, thank God. The serenata will be put into rehearsal at the end of next week; the first rehearsal for the recitatives is on Monday, and on the other days the choruses will be rehearsed. Wolfg. will be finished by Monday or Tuesday at the latest. footnote1 Sgr Manzoli often calls on us, whereas we`ve been to his place only once. Sgr Tibaldi calls on us almost every day towards 11 and remains at table till around 1, while Wolfg. gets on with his work. They`re all uncommonly kind and have the greatest respect for Wolfg., indeed, we`ve not had the least trouble as we`re dealing only with good and famous singers and with sensible people. The serenata is really a short opera; the actual music in the opera lasts no longer than this but it`s prolonged by 2 grand ballets footnote2 that are performed after the 1st and 2nd acts, each of which is likely to last 3 quarters of an hour. I don`t have enough space to describe all the preparations for these celebrations. footnote3 The whole of Milan is astir, not least because many, if not most, of the preparations were postponed till the very last minute, with the result that everyone is now hard at work, some at the theatre, others for Hs R Highness`s reception - for the apartment and rooms etc. - for fencing off and lighting the cathedral - for clothes - - the servants` liveries - - - carriages - horses etc. balls etc., painting and renovating the whole theatre etc. etc. - - in short, a hundred things that don`t occur to me. - - Everyone, everyone is on the move! Miss Devis arrived here a few days ago; she drove past our rooms in the mail coach. I recognized her, and she recognized us as we were standing on the balcony. A few hours later I went to call on her at the 3 Kings as I assumed that she`d be staying there because it`s the most respectable inn and not far from us. She, her sister and her father and mother could hardly express their delight: I showed her servant H Hasse`s rooms, and a moment later H Hasse`s daughter appeared, incapable of expressing her delight, as they`ve been close friends since Vienna. footnote4 They all asked after you and send you their best wishes. I expect you remember Miss Devis and her glass harmonica? footnote5 - - - Did you see the tightrope walkers when they were in Salzb.? - They`re now on their way to Milan: people are busy building an extraordinarily large tent for them. The Italian plays finished 2 days ago as the theatre is needed for the rehearsals and because the painters mustn`t be prevented from working day and night. These players were uncommonly good, especially in character pieces and tragedies. Anyone coming to Milan for these wedding celebrations is bound to see some wonderful things. A carriage for 4 persons travelling together wouldn`t cost much. The biggest problem would be finding a room. But I could help out here and take you in myself. We`d have to live like soldiers for a short time and make savings by having our meals cooked at home. I`ve just received your letter of the 13th. footnote6 I hope that the violinist La Haie isn`t that joker who`s the brother of the businesswoman in Amsterdam - the one who absconded? I`m sure you`ll remember. He too was called de Haie or La Haie. footnote7 But he wasn`t very old. Co Castelbarco still hadn`t arrived by yesterday. He`ll have broken his journey in Insprugg and then on his estates at Ala and Roveredo. In your last letter you wrote that many people had gone mad, and now you say that many are dying from bloody flux. That`s very bad, for it affects people in the head and in the arse, and it certainly looks dangerous. I must have brought quite a dose of it with me from Salzb. as I still have frequent fits of dizziness. But it`s hardly surprising - - where the air is already infected - - it`s easy to catch something. That`s why I wrote to you about the pills. I want my arse to cure my head. Best wishes to all our good friends. We kiss you both 10000000 times, and I am your old
Lp Mozart

MOZART`S POSTSCRIPT

I`m well, all praise and thanks be to God. I can`t write much: first, because I don`t know what to say; second, because my fingers are aching from so much writing. Farewell. I kiss Mama`s hand. I often whistle my tune, but not a soul answers. footnote8 I`m now missing only 2 arias from the serenata and then I`ll be finished. Best wishes to all our good friends. I don`t feel like returning to Salzburg any longer as I`m frightened that I too could go mad.
Wolfgang.

LEOPOLD`S POSTSCRIPT ON THE INSIDE OF THE ENVELOPE

You need to be careful when putting together the books. I`ve brought with me the two half-bound copies that were lying in the cabinet and discovered that in one of them the whole sheet K k was bound in twice. This was an act of idiocy on the part of the bookbinder, who should have noticed. From now on address all your letters to H Troger.
Please use the following reference when citing this website:
Eisen, Cliff et al. In Mozart's Words, Letter 246 <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.