Mozart and His Operas
Cairns’ unique biography traces Mozart’s life and creative output through his operas. Cairns discusses how Mozart matured as an artist with each opera and writes about how his strength as a composer of great theater influences his instrumental works as well, particularly his piano concertos and string quartets. The chapter that highlights Idomeneo describes this opera as a point of maturity in Mozart’s operatic output. Mozart turns opera seria, an opera based on classical or mythological themes, on its head and creates his own unique voice for 18th century opera, one full of orchestral color and impassioned vocal writing.