The Surprising Age Mozart Wrote His First Opera

Mozart had an impressive career by his mid-childhood, albeit not at the international levels of fame he would eventually achieve. According to France Musique, Mozart had written more than 50 pieces before the age of 9, and for three years, he and his comparably talented sister, Nannerl, played the violin for hours at a time for audiences as they toured Europe. They did so at the behest of their controversial father, Leopold, whose approach to parenting is still debated to this day. A year after the debut of Mozart’s work, rumors began to spread that his father had written it, and that trickery was being used to pass off the work as his own since someone that young producing such a piece was unprecedented (via Classic.fm). 

Mozart persevered in spite of the slander and at 13 was commissioned to compose and conduct music for the Salzberg court, an exceptional milestone for the time. Not unlike modern celebrities who got their start at an early age though, Mozart began to lose appeal as he entered into early adulthood as the apparent novelty of his earlier accomplishments wore off for some. His home life was upended by the death of his mother, and it wasn’t until his subsequent 1781 move to Vienna that Mozart’s career saw revitalization.

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