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Words for Mozart (Borderlands)

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Words for Mozart focuses on Lorenzo Da Ponte, who was the librettist for Mozart’s three greatest operas: The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte. It is a comedy that touches on serious themes such as the place of women in late 18th century society; the shift from royal patronage to audience support of the arts; censorship; and the cosmopolitan and international nature of the art scene when Vienna was the music capital of Europe.

The play examines Da Ponte’s collaboration with Mozart, who is depicted with comic irreverence that undercuts the romanticized, utterly incorrect, and destructive notion that Mozart was a “born genius”, who composed effortlessly through divine inspiration. Da Ponte’s colorful life, his friendship with history’s most notorious libertine, Giacomo Casanova, and his conflict with Emperor Joseph II are all covered, as well as a brief meeting with Beethoven. Both Da Ponte and Casanova were exiled from Venice and were consequently living there as refugees.  Had their expulsion not occurred, the three greatest Mozart operas would not have been written and Mozart’s place in music history would likely be nonexistent.


March 23 @ 7:30 pm
March 24 @ 7:30 pm


Hammer Theatre Center, 101 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose, CA 95113 Located between 2nd and 3rd St. in downtown San Jose.


Convenient parking available @ 2nd & San Carlos Garage $5 flat fee after 6 PM

Public Transit

Accessible by BART and VTA (2nd & Paseo De San Antonio exit is in front of the Hammer Theatre)