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I don't understand you! You're all up on


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


See more monologues from Peter Shaffer


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I don't understand you! You're all up on perches but it doesn't hide your arseholes! You don't give a shit about gods and heroes! If you're honest - each one of you - which of you isn't more at home with his hairdress than Hercules? Or Horatius? Or your stupid Danaius come to that! Or mine - mine! Idomeneo, King of Crete! All those anguished antuques are all bores! Bores, bores, bores!

All serious operas written this century are boring! (laughs vigorusly) Look at us! Four gaping mouths. What a perfect quartet! I'd love to write it - just this second of time, this now, as you are! Herr Chamberlain thinking 'Impertinent Mozart: I must speak to the Emperor at once!' Herr Prefect thinking 'Ignorant Mozart: debasing opera with his vulgarity!' Herr Court Composer thinking 'German Mozart: what can he finally know about music?' And Herr Mozart himself, in the middle, thinking 'I'm just a good fellow. Why do they all disapprove of me?' That's why opera is important, Baron. Because it's realer than any play! A dramatic poet would have to put all those thoughts down one after another just to represent this second of time. The composer can put them all down at once - and still make us hear each one of them. Astonishing device: a Vocal Quartet! ....I tell you I want to write a finale lasting half and hour! A quartet becoming a quintet becoming a sextet. On and on, wider and wider - all sounds multiplying and rising together - and the together creating a sound entierly new!

.... I bet you that's how God hears the world: millions of sounds ascending at once and mixing in His ear to become an unending music, unimaginable to us! That's our job! That's our job, we composers: to combine the inner minds of him and him and him and her and her - the thoughts of chambermaids and Court Composers - and turn the audience into God. (blows a raspberry and giggles) I'm sorry. I talk nonsense all day: it's incurable - ask Stanzerl. My tounge is stupid Baron. My heart isn't.