G E R M A N Y
Vienna, 10 February.
Yesterday [9 Feb] in consideration of
Their Sicilian Majesties, the court gave
a superb sleigh ride to Schönbrunn,
where there was a grand luncheon with
many other members of the first nobility.
Upon the return, they all passed in
the same sleighs through the main streets
and squares of this city, after which they
went to the opera Le nozze di Figaro at
the Italian theater, then presided in
the Redoutensaal, where because of the
selection of people gathered there, the
spectacle was the most beautiful that
could ever be seen. Tomorrow there was
to be another sleigh ride to Laxenburg,
but it is thought that it will not take place,
because the snow is going to melt
In Sep 1790, King Ferdinand IV of Naples and his wife Maria Carolina (sister of Joseph II and Leopold II) came to Vienna to celebrate the betrothal of Archduchess Marie Clementine with Crown Prince Francesco of Naples, and the weddings of the Neapolitan Princess Maria Luisa with Archduke Ferdinand, and Princess Maria Teresa of Naples with Archduke Franz (Edge 1996, 88–93). Following a trip to Munich, the Neapolitan entourage returned to Vienna for most of the carnival season of 1791. This state visit was the occasion for a continual whirl of balls, theater outings, concerts, and other private and public events. Among other things, the Neapolitan and imperial entourages attended performances in the Burgtheater (the court theater), and in the three major suburban theaters, including the Theater auf der Wieden.
This item from the Gazzetta universale reports the attendance of the imperial and Neapolitan courts at the performance of Le nozze di Figaro in the Burgtheater on Wednesday, 9 Feb 1791, following a gala sleigh ride to Schönbrunn and back. (See also the report in the Wiener Zeitung on the attendance of the imperial and Neapolitan courts at a performance of the singspiel Der Stein der Weisen on Sunday, 13 Feb.)
Johann Hieronymus Löschenkohl, Die Schlittenfahrt nach Schönbrunn für
König Ferdinand IV. von Sizilien am 9. Februar 1791
This was the final performance in this production of Figaro, and the last in Vienna during Mozart’s lifetime.
We are grateful to Miguel Arango Calle for bringing to our attention Löschenkohl’s engraving of the court’s sleigh ride.
Edge, Dexter. 1996. "Mozart’s Reception in Vienna, 1787–1791." In Wolfgang Amadè Mozart: Essays on his Life and his Music, edited by Stanley Sadie. 66–117. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Search Term: figaro
Princeton University, 1010.38
First Published: Thu, 12 Jun 2014
Updated: Mon, 27 Mar 2023
Edge, Dexter. 2014. “The Habsburg court and guests attend Le nozze di Figaro (9 February 1791).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 12 June 2014; updated 27 March 2023. https://www.mozartdocuments.org/documents/9-february-1791/
Edge, Dexter. 2014. “The Habsburg court and guests attend Le nozze di Figaro (9 February 1791).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 12 June 2014; updated 27 March 2023. [direct link]