The world´s most famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has visited Prague several times and villa Bertramka is the place, where he used to stay. It became a Mozart museum, where you can see some of his manuscripts, documents and even musical instruments he used to play.
Mozart as a guest in Villa Bertramka
Bertramka was built at the end of the 17 th century and it is called after its owner Jan Frantisek Bertram of Bertram. It used to be a vineyard originally. At the end of the 18 th century, the singer Josefina Duskova and her husband Frantisek Xaver Dusek used to live there. They were close friends with the Mozart family and they invited the composer to Prague. Mozart´s opera The Marriage of Figaro was already very popular among Prague audiences and the impresario of the Nostitz Theater (Estates Theater at the present ) commissioned Mozart to write a new opera for the theater.
Finishing of Don Giovanni in Bertramka
Mozart came to Prague in 1787 and he stayed in Bertramka with his friends Duseks for several weeks. The villa was a lively place, where open-minded people interested in arts used to meet. The Duseks were charming hosts and people could liberally talk on various issues in Bertramka. Mozart finished his opera Don Giovanni there, just one day before its premiere performance in the Nostitz Theater in October. Despite the haste and a lack of time for rehearsal, the premiere was perfect and success unprecedented.
Mozart and Josefina Duskova
Mozart once promised to his hostess Josefina Duskova that he will write a special aria for her, but then he was in no hurry to fulfil the promise. That´s why she reportedly locked him in Bertramka one day and said she won´t let him out till he writes it. He agreed, but said that she has to sing it then without a mistake, otherwise he will rip it to pieces. He composed the aria intentionally difficult. But the manuscript is preserved to this day, so Josefina Duskova probably sung it perfectly. The aria is called “Bella mia fiamma, addio.”
Mozart returned to Bertramka in 1791, to perform his new opera La clemenza di Tito for the coronation of Leopold II. But the opera wasn´t received well by the Emperor. Disappointed Mozart wrote another good-bye aria “Io ti lascio, o cara, addio” in haste, and left Prague. Soon afterwards, he died in Vienna.
In the exhibition held in the villa Bertramka, you can see the manuscripts he wrote there, some of his personal correspondence, contemporary engravings and drawings and some valuable musical instruments. The most interesting item is a piano, on which Mozart played in 1787. It was made in 1780s in Vienna and it is one of the last three pieces of its kind in the world.
The interiors of Bertramka stayed partly the same as Mozart knew it. In the “Mozart rooms”, where he probably stayed with his wife, there is a part of the original wall decorations and a baroque wooden ceiling.
Garden of the Villa Bertramka
In the garden you will find the “salla terrena” – an authentic music salon with the original decoration from the beginning of the 18 th century. There is also the bust of Mozart and a table, where he had written some compositions.
There is an audio guide in Czech, English, German, French and Japanese available in the museum. The villa Bertramka is situated near the Prague centre, it is 10-minute walk from the underground station Andel and there is a tram station Bertramka nearby.