Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

The Operas of Mozart


By December 1791, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had written the defining compositions in every available musical genre of his time: symphony, chamber music, masses, and—above all—opera. Opera was the prestige genre of the time, and Mozart loved it dearly and counted on it heavily for personal, professional, artistic, and financial reasons. Just the thought of opera, as Mozart wrote, made him “beside myself at once.”

The Details

Mozart’s operas vie with each other to be considered among the greatest achievements of human artistic striving: Idomeneo, The Abduction from the Harem, The Marriage of Figaro, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute.

In this course with Professor Robert Greenberg, we are summoned to understand more fully the height of Mozart’s operatic achievement by analyzing two masterpieces closely. The course also invites us to fathom the enigma of Mozart’s meteoric genius by studying his career and development.

The 24 lectures are in three parts of eight lectures each. The first and third parts concentrate your attention on two works of surpassing beauty and accomplishment, Così fan tutte and The Magic Flute.

The middle eight lectures of the course study Mozart’s early life and development from the first opera he wrote (when he was 11 years old) to Don Giovanni, completed when he was 31.

The Operas of Mozart Lectures

  1. 1789
  2. Così fan tutte, Part One
  3. Così fan tutte, Part Two
  4. Così fan tutte, Part Three
  5. Così fan tutte, Part Four
  6. Così fan tutte, Part Five
  7. Così fan tutte, Part Six
  8. Così fan tutte, Part Seven
  9. The First Works
  10. The Italian Apprenticeship
  11. The Professional, Part One
  12. The Professional, Part Two
  13. Vienna and Abduction
  14. Salieri, Da Ponte and The Marriage of Figaro
  15. Don Giovanni, Part One
  16. Don Giovanni, Part Two
  17. Mozart, Masonry and The Magic Flute
  18. The Magic Flute, Part Two
  19. The Magic Flute, Part Three
  20. The Magic Flute, Part Four
  21. The Magic Flute, Part Five
  22. The Magic Flute, Part Six
  23. The Magic Flute, Part Seven
  24. The Magic Flute, Part Eight