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Verona the seventh / 1770 / of January
Dearest Sister,
I`m piqued that I`ve been kept waiting so long for an answer, I`ve good reason, too, because I`ve not received your letter of the 1st. At this point the German ninny stops and the Italian ninny starts. You`re more fluent in the Italian language than I`d imagined. Tell me why you weren`t at the play that the courtiers performed? At present we`re always hearing operas, it`s called Il Ruggiero . footnote1 Oronte, Bradamento`s father, is a prince (he`s played by Sig. Afferi), a fine singer, a baritone, though he sounds forced when he goes up into falsetto, but not as much as Tibaldi in Vienna. Bradamenta, Oronte`s daughter, in love with Ruggiero but (she`s supposed to marry Leone but doesn`t want to.) she`s taken by a poor baroness who`s had some great misfortune, though I don`t know what it is. She sings (under an assumed name, but I don`t know what it is) with a reasonable voice, and she`d have a good presence, except that her singing is devilishly out of tune. Ruggiero, a rich prince, in love with Bradamenta, a castrato, sings a bit like Manzoli and has a most beautiful and powerful voice and is already old, he`s fifty-five and has a flexible throat. Leone is supposed to marry Bradamenta and is extremely rich, though whether he`s rich offstage, I don`t know, he`s played by a woman, Afferi`s wife, and has a most beautiful voice, but there`s so much whispering in the theatre that you can`t hear anything. Irene is played by a sister of Lolli, the great violinist, whom we heard in Vienna. She has a nasal voice and is always a beat late or early. Ganno is played by a man whose name I don`t know, it was the first time he`d appeared onstage. There`s a ballet between each act: they have a good dancer called Monsieur Ruesler, he`s German and dances very well. The last time we were at the opera (but not the very last time) we asked M. Ruesler to come up to our palco (we`ve free use of the Marquis Carlotti`s box as we have the key) and spoke to him there: by the way, everyone is now masked, and what`s convenient about this is that if you`re wearing your mask over your hat, you have the right not to remove your hat when someone greets you and never have to give your name but simply say: Servitore umilissimo, giora Mascara. Good gracious, what fun! But the most remarkable thing of all is that we go to bed between 7 and half past: if you could have guessed this, I`d certainly say you were the mother of all sooth-sayers. Kiss Mama`s hand for me, I kiss you a thousand times and assure you that I`ll always be your sincere and loyal brother
Keep well and always love me. Wolfgang Mozart

LEOPOLD`S POSTSCRIPT

I kiss you and Mama many 1000 times. If you`re looking for the full score of the concerto that we took with us, you`ll find it in the centre of my cupboard, with the symphonies.
I commend the keyboard to you.
Please use the following reference when citing this website:
Eisen, Cliff et al. In Mozart's Words, Letter 153 <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.