The Duel

Concert or Performance

12 May 2022 to 15 May 2022 Once Only Event

Be transported back to the eighteenth century as the 1786 standoff between composers Mozart and Salieri is recreated in the Government House Ballroom.

Music’s greatest competition? In 1786 a standoff was held in one of the world’s most lavish palaces. Joseph II (Holy Roman Emperor) had set his tame composers a challenge, pitting the Italian opera style against the German “singspiel”. With both pieces performed on the same night, more than pride was at stake. The winner would be feted with commissions and patrons – the loser, fighting for scraps.

In one corner, the established Antonio Salieri set an opera buffa entitled Prima la musica e poi le parole (First the Music, then the Words), and in the other corner the upstart Wolfgang Mozart flew the nationalistic flag with his comedy Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario).

For this re-creation, you are invited to get up close and personal in the intimate surrounds of Government House Ballroom with stages at either end, dinner with your friends and a time machine back to the eighteenth century. Decide for yourself who wins – Mozart or Salieri?

West Australian Opera presents The Duel in association with The University of Western Australia Conservatorium of Music.

Prima la musica e poi le parole, composed by Antonio Salieri. Der Schauspieldirektor, composed by Wolfgang Armadeus Mozart. Sung in Italian with English Surtitles.

Event Dates

Once Only Event

12 May 2022 to 15 May 2022

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