Tuesday, January 13, 2009
A case for the other woman
The love story between Mozart and Nancy Storace is the classic tale of the "other woman". The great Mozart historian, Alfred Einstien, (first cousin to Albert Einstein), stated that Nancy was the only woman for whom Constanze had any cause to be jealous.
Between Mozart and her there must have been a deep and sympathetic understanding. She was beautiful, attractive, an artist, and a finished singer, whose salary at the Italian opera in Vienna attained a figure at that time unheard of.
He continues by stating that after Anna's return to London in 1787, she and Mozart continued their relationship through correspondence by letter:
But he remained in correspondence with Anna Selina. What happened to these letters is a mystery. Anna Selina certainly treasured them, but perhaps before her death, which occurred in Dulwich in 1817, she destroyed them as not intended for the eyes of an outsider.
The challenge I have facing me as a novelist is the fact that since the advent of the film, Amadeus,there has been a crop of Mozart "fans" who are entirely sympathetic and devoted to Mozart's wife, Constanze. They've made Mozart into a deity and Constanze into the Virgin Mary, creating a distorted and false picture of their relationship and marriage, as well as of the people themselves. I must, therefore, create a case for Nancy and make an audience, who can be quite hostile towards her, sympathetic towards her. Not an easy task, especially when dealing with the sacred cow of Mozart. I must remain within the realms of historical accuracy, but give myself some creative license when it comes to filling in the blanks where cold, hard, historical fact leaves off.
Writing a novel, especially when it involves the lives of real, historical persons is quite complicated. One must be an historian, a researcher, a psychologist, and a diplomat all at the same time.