POST: 'The Other Mozart' - Wolfgang's older sister, the composer
What's it about?
The famous Wolfgang Mozart's older sister tells her story about her tumultuous journey with the love of her life, classical music.
What'd I experience?
Before going to The Players Theatre, I was talking with one of my sisters about Jean Jacque Rousseau, and how we were studying him in my college English course. I was telling my sister about how misogynistic and sexist he was because in his letters, they objectified women and made them equivalent to toys. Everything that came out of his mouth into writings was pure filth: "Women were made to serve men", "Women should get an education, but to benefit their husbands".
Maria Anna Mozart in her own right and not as Mozart’s sister, painfully restated these lies to herself in discontent. Hearing her say this in the play was so powerful to me, as I identified with it, especially coming from a culture where a woman’s dream has to be the second priority… or last… or nonexistent.
In this play, I saw a woman who had a dream since she was young to become a composer, to become bigger than just a housewife and mother. But instead, she was condemned, ridiculed, and ignored for this passion. Her father and mother would always say to her, “Maria, these things are not for women. You must settle down and get married.” The most painful part of this one woman show where Maria told her story, was the fact that she listened to what her father, mother and society said. Her brother was living her dream and she just watched as everyone kept telling her to wait. Her father and the people would just praise her brother. They knew of her extraordinary musical talents, but never gave her a chance because she was a female.
What good is a female if she cannot wash dishes, cook, take care of children, and cater to her husband? Gasp! But that’s what she did after her mother’s death, she decided to be the stepmother to her husband’s children, then have some of her own. It broke my heart to watch Maria go from young and jolly, hopeful, to confused, disappointed, and then dead. It killed me when she heard of the greatness of her brother - traveling everywhere performing. She fell screaming and crying asking why couldn’t she live her dream. She lived a wasted life because she couldn’t experience her dream. And on her tombstone it is written, “Maria Anna Mozart, the sister of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.” Even at her death, she was living in the shadows.
I was exhausted going in to watch this show. The whole black boxed theatre smelt like basil (which irritated me) and there was red wine that I couldn’t drink (one more year Faith, one more year). But I didn’t care! The show strongly resonated with me. To be a woman is not easy, I can attest to it. I have to constantly fight for my equality, and beg to live my dreams - because the people I love are scared I would put my career before a man…. THE HELL! If a man is older and not married he is a bachelor. But if a woman is older and not married, something is wrong with her?! It hurts! And seeing Maria’s pain hurt me too. Centuries later and I can still identify with her, but I will not die with someone else’s name on my tombstone. And I learned from her story to vow to myself to live my dreams. To realize that beliefs like Rousseau’s and others who think like him are not true, but just a form of control.
Maria was gifted by God, and her story deserves to be told. It inspired me, moved me, and brought me close to tears, because I know what it is like to be a woman having your dreams denounced, and taken away. ALMOST taken away.