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Thread: The % of the public who understood itaian, Prague 1787

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    Default The % of the public who understood itaian, Prague 1787

    Hi!

    When Mozart had premiere with his Don Giovanni in Prague 29 October 1787,
    the play was, as most popular in that time, in the Italian language.
    Do we have any estimate how many percent of the audience who understood Italian at that time?
    And, if for those not understanding it, what kind of help did they get to be able to understand what happened in the play?

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    Wouldn't the opera have been performed by candlelight (so not the same concept of a darkened auditorium and stage lighting?)

    It would have been similar to a recital and I believe the audience would have had a libretto with a translation. However, it may have been that the audience was an educated one with a working knowledge of Italian.

    Great question!

    N.

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