Photo of Constanze (Mozart) Weber found

July 8, 2006

constanze.jpgThis just in from the BBC: the only known photo of Mozart’s widow, Constanze, was unearthed in the town archives in a Bavarian town called Altoetting. Below is the entire picture with Contanze (far left), The Kellers, a brother in law, and the cook. The elderly couple in the middle front is composer Max Keller and his wife; behind them, their two fetching daughters. (The document is an early example of daguerreotype.)

The reason this is of interest to me right now is that I’m composing my 2nd chamber opera based on Thornton Wilder’s playlet, “Mozart and the Gray Steward” and Constanze is a character in the play. It is nice to have a visual for her.

constanzefam.jpg

Or wait, doesn’t that one on the right look like a man in a woman’s clothes? He, er she’s leaning on her sister’s shoulder, who is clearly uncomfortable. The mother looks as though she has barely made her peace with him, er her, and Papa looks mildly drunk. Constanze is aware of her moment and is completely uncomfortable.

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