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[Milan, 26 January 1770]
I`m heartily glad to hear that you enjoyed yourself so much when you went sledding and hope that you find a thousand opportunities to enjoy yourself and have fun all your life. But one thing annoys me, that you made H von Mölk footnote1 sigh and suffer so much and didn`t go sledding with him, so that he could have knocked you over: how many handkerchiefs will he have gone through that day, crying over you? I expect he`d earlier taken an ounce of tartar to purge his hideously unclean body. I`ve no news except that the Leipzig poet H Gelehrt footnote2 has died and has written no more poems since then. Just before starting this letter, I set an aria from Demetrio footnote3 that begins:

Misero Tu non sei:
Tu spieghi il Tuo Dolore;
e se non desti amore;
Ritrovi almen pietà.

Misera ben son io
che nel segretto laccio
amo, non spero e taccio
e l`idol mio nol sà. footnote4

The opera at Mantua was nice, they gave Demetrio, footnote5 the prima donna sings well, but quietly, and if you couldn`t see her acting but only her singing, you`d think she wasn`t singing at all as she can`t open her mouth but just whines - not that that`s anything new to us. footnote6 The seconda donna looks like a grenadier guardsman and has a powerful voice too and she doesn`t sing at all badly, considering it`s the first time she`s acted. Il primo uomo, il musico, footnote7 sings beautifully, though his voice is uneven, he`s called Caßelli. Il secondo uomo is already old, and I don`t like him, he`s called . footnote8 As for the tenors, the one called Otini doesn`t sing badly, but as with all Italian tenors, it`s a very heavy sound, also he`s a very good friend of ours. I don`t know what the other one`s called, he`s still young, but nothing special. Primo ballerino: good. Prima ballerina: good, people say she`s not bad-looking, but I haven`t seen her close up, the rest are very ordinary: there was also a grottesco who jumps well but who can`t write like me, i.e., like a sow pissing.
The orchestra wasn`t bad. In Cremona the orchestra was good, and the first violin is called Spangnoletto. Prima donna not bad, already old, I think, not good-looking, acts better than she sings, and is the wife of a violinist who plays in the opera, she`s called Masi. The opera is called La clemenza di Tito. Seconda donna not bad-looking onstage, young, but nothing special. Primo uomo musico Cichognani. An attractive voice, and a beautiful cantabile. The other two castratos footnote9 young and passable. Tenor: calls himself non lo sò. footnote10 Has a pleasant manner and looks just like Le Roi, who was in Vienna but who`s now with Leman. Primo ballerino: good. Prima ballerina: good but extremely unattractive. There was a female dancer there who didn`t dance badly and who - what a chef d`oeuvre - isn`t bad-looking offstage and on. The others very ordinary. There was a grottesco footnote11 there, too, who farted each time he jumped. I really can`t tell you much about Milan as we haven`t been to the opera yet, though we`ve heard that it wasn`t up to much. Aprile, the primo uomo, sings well, he has a beautiful even voice, we heard him in church, where a great festival was taking place: Madame Piccinelli from Paris, who sang at our concert, footnote12 is appearing at the opera: Monsieur Bicch, who used to dance in Vienna, is dancing here in Milan. The opera is called Didone abbandonata. footnote13 This opera will soon be finishing, and Sig. Piccini, who`s writing the next opera, is here in Milan: I`ve heard that the opera is called Cesare in Eccito: there are also feste di ballo here because as soon as the opera`s over, the festo di ballo begins: the wife of Count Firminan`s steward is from Vienna, and we dined there last Friday and will be dining there again next Sunday. Farewell, and kiss Mama`s hands a thousand times for me, I remain, true unto death, your brother
Wolfgang de Mozart
Baron Hochenthal
Friend of the Counting-House.
26 January 1770
Please use the following reference when citing this website:
Eisen, Cliff et al. In Mozart's Words <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.