MOZART'S STAY IN MANNHEIM
Around 30.7. - 1.8.1763 ● 30.10.1777 - 14.3.1778 ● 6.11. - 9.12.1778 ● Around 23. - 25.3.1790
In July of 1763, W. A. Mozart travelled to Mannheim for the first time with his parents and his sister Nannerl. Of course, primarily his five months stay during the years 1777 and 1778 formed a break in the life of the young artist, when he came to Mannheim in the company of his mother only. During this time, the emancipation from his father began; he had hu...man experiences here that affected his entire future life. At times, he also found his private happiness: Although he first fell in love with the young singer Aloysia Weber, he also met her sister Constanze, whom he later married.
In March of 1778, Mozart and his mother travelled to Paris, from where the composer returned to Mannheim alone in late fall of 1778, since his mother had suddenly died in the meantime. The town comforted him: "... in one word, the way I love Mannheim, Mannheim loves me, too", he wrote to his father. In the fall of 1790, Mozart together with his brother-in-law Franz de Paula Hofer, wandered through the square town for the last time. It is assumed that on this occasion on October 24th he himself conducted the Mannheim premiere of his opera "The Marriage of Figaro".
From 1720 until 1778 Mannheim was the seat of government of the culture loving electors from the Pfalz. The star-shaped town fortification system was one of the largest in the continent. Even today, the town is divided into squares arranged around two principal axes, one leading directly to the castle, one of the largest in Europe. Elector Carl Theodor was a patron of the sciences as well as the arts and music. During the second half of the 18th century, Mannheim was trend setting in the European music scene due to its court orchestra and its distinguished members. This was the reason why Mozart, alone as well as with his family, visited the town four times. The composer did not only get to know the orchestra which played at the highest technical level, but here he also experienced the beginning replacement of the "Opera Seria" with the German speaking civic music theatre. And: For him, Mannheim became the professional springboard, since elector Carl Theodor commissioned Mozart with the composition of the "Idomeneo" for his new seat of government in Munich.