Between composing the Abduction from the Seraglio in 1782 and 1786, when he wrote The Impresario and The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart paid little attention to opera, concentrating instead on his concert career as a pianist and writing mostly instrumental music. But he did start two operas, Lo Sposo Deluso, and L'oca del Cairo. Neither was finished, and only fragments of each are left today. L'oca del Cairo, or The Goose of Cairo was to be a three act drama giocoso, an opera that is mostly comic but with serious roles, like Don Giovanni. But Mozart composed only seven of the ten numbers of the first act, plus some recitative, as well a sketch of the finale which has been lost. He actually thought the story and the librettist hopeless, that the librettist knew nothing about the theater, so Mozart dropped the project after about six months. He in particular did not like the idea of the leading man having himself smuggled into the tower garden inside a large mechanical goose to rescue his beloved, although it is interesting to speculate on what kind of mechanical goose music Mozart would have written had he continued with it.
But Mozart could not write anything but wonderful music, and what he did for The Goose of Cairo is no exception. And that's the music we have for you this Sunday night on The Lyric Stage at the special time of 9:00PM.
The lovely opening scene of Act 2 Richard Strauss' Arabella with Lisa della Casa and George London rounds out the program this week.