5/1 Today in Weird Music History: 1786. Mozart’s masterpiece opera, The Marriage of Figaro is premiered in Vienna. The piece was so popular it was often interrupted with calls for encores throughout the opera, halting performances. This prompted Hapsburg Emperor Joseph II to issue a decree banning encores only a week after the premiere:
“to prevent the excessive duration of operas, without however prejudicing the fame often sought by opera singers from the repetition of vocal pieces.”
Perhaps that was not quite as lasting for his legacy as his other accomplishments such as allowing limited freedom of religion, freeing the serfs, or building housing for the poor. And commissioning new works from Mozart!