Mozart Camp

Tuesday, July 16 – Saturday, July 20, 2013

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) is one of the world’s most prolific and beloved composers. The catalog of his works includes symphonies, operas, chamber music, songs, marches, and music for every instrument, composed with a style immediately recognizable in its sublime beauty and graceful proportions. 

Mozart Camp brings Mozart devotees together to explore the work of this singular genius, through lectures, films, discussions, chamber music concerts, vocal recitals, staged readings, dinners and museum visits. Participants will be immersed in Mozart’s music, discovering some relatively unknown and rarely-performed works. Of special focus this year is the great range of musical output of this talented family—not just Wolfgang, but also his father Leopold, sister Nannerl, wife Constanze, and son Franz Xaver. The camp culminates with a production of one of Mozart's early operas, La finta giardiniera, composed when Mozart was just 18, and sung in English in a version titled The Secret Gardener.

Click to view detailed daily schedule

Mozart Camp takes place in the historic Twentieth Century Club, conveniently located in the heart of the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh.With convenient access to dining, shopping, lodging, and recreational facilities, Oakland offers an ideal setting for the week, and is easily accessible via public transportation.

Key elements in the five-day Mozart Camp include:


Be stimulated by our knowledgable and entertaining lecturers, bringing Wolfgang and his brilliant musical family to life.

  • Mozart's Early Operas and "La finta giardiniera"—Follow the progression of Mozart's early operas and pastorals to the mature operas, concentrating on his vocal compositions in the teenage years. Dr. David Buch (University of Chicago), helps place Finta in its historical and musicological place among Mozart's works.

  • Mozart’s Women—Wolfgang's sister was a gifted composer and musician, and he married a skilled singer who sang in many of his operas. Learn more about Nannerl and Constanze, and their impact on Mozart's musical life, as Daniel John Carroll introduces us to the less well-known Mozarts.

  • Highborn in Low Places: Mozart's "La finta giardiniera" in Its Cultural Context—A look at class distinctions in Mozart's opera, as well as in an earlier setting by Pasquale Anfossi, and how it all connects to Samuel Richardson's epistolary novel Pamela, or Virture Rewarded. Presented by Professor James Cassaro (Finney Music Library, University of Pittsburgh).

  • The Controversies Surrounding Mozart’s Death—popularized in stage plays and movies, the conspiracy theories surrounding Mozart’s alleged poisoning by rival Antonio Salieri live on. Dr. Eugene Myers (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) brings a physician’s keen eye to the physical evidence and offers a diagnosis.



The best way to truly appreciate Mozart’s sublime musical output is to hear it in live performance by sensitive and skilled musicians. The Mozart in Concert series brings together, in three programs of instrumental and vocal music, works composed by Leopold, Wolfgang, and Franz Xaver. Concerts feature the Freya String Quartet, SummerFest's quartet in residence, and singers from our Young and Resident Artist Programs. Post-concert discussions offer an opportunity for participants and musicians to share observations and impressions of the selections.



Mozart wrote extensively for voice, and Mozart Camp offers participants a chance to experience rare live performances of the composer’s art songs. With themes touching on the beauty of Spring, love, loss, and regret, the songs display Mozart’s ability to craft small “mini operas,” full of feeling and pathos. Each day offers a short program of these songs, performed by members of SummerFest’s Young and Resident Artist programs.



The lush beauty of Phipps Conservatory plays host on Thursday, July 18, as Mozart Camp travels to this extraordinary civic treasure. Phipps, a Pittsburgh landmark since 1893, offers 17 distinct botanical experiences, and one of the world's greenest public gardens. The day features a vocal music recital in the formal 18th century garden spaces of the Brodie Room.



On Friday, July 19, Mozart Camp relocates to the Frick Art & Historical Center, located on exquisite landscaped grounds in Pittsburgh’s East End. The museum and its multiple collections are the legacy of Helen Clay Frick, daughter of Henry Clay Frick, one of America’s great industrialists and art collectors. The day’s lectures and chamber music concert will be held in the Frick’s attractive auditorium, and Mozart Camp participants will have an opportunity to visit the galleries of 18th century art that so beautifully depict the Mozartean era.



Mildred Miller Posvar, internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano and founder of Opera Theater, hosts an intimate dinner at The Twentieth Century Club, where she recounts her experience in creating memorable roles in Mozart’s operas. As a featured artist for 23 consecutive seasons at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Miller’s debut role was Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro—and her exclusive domain there for a decade. Additional roles included the title role in Carmen; Dorabella in Così fan tutte; Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier; Suzuki in Madama Butterfly; and Rosina in The Barber of Seville.



Mozart Camp 2013 culminates in a performance of a playful new English language production of The Secret Gardener/La finta giardiniera. Mozart’s merry adventure of disguises and desires, written in 1775, the composer's 18th year. Mozart Camp participants receive premium reserved seating for The Secret Gardener/La finta giardiniera’s final SummerFest performance.

Participants may also choose to purchase individual tickets (at a 40% percent discount) for SummerFest’s other repertory, including a reinvented production of Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann–Retold, Stephen Sondheim’s enchanting A Little Night Music, Daron Hagen's Frank Lloyd Wright opera Shining Brow, and Night Caps International, a series of newly-commissioned short operas scored by some of today’s leading composers.These ‘late-night quickies’ which follow the mainstage performances are set in Miss Darlington’s hotel, a place of romance, mystery, and danger. Journey through each of its bedrooms, enchanted by the decadence of secrets, haunted by the ghosts of presidents, and perfumed with the memory of love.



A screening of the acclaimed film Nannerl, la sœur de Mozart (Mozart's Sister) [René Féret | France | 2010] leads the viewer into the private life of the Mozart family as they engage in a grueling tour performing for nobility across Europe. Despite Anna Maria's (nicknamed Nannerl) obvious talent as a composer, her father lavishes praise and encouragement instead on her younger brother Wolfgang.



Tuition for Mozart Camp is just $300 per person, which includes all lectures, workshops, concerts and recitals, dinner with Mildred Miller Posvar, and premium reserved seating for The Secret Gardener/La finta giardiniera. Mozart Campers also receive a 40% discount on other operas and performances at SummerFest.



Accommodations are not included in the Mozart Camp tuition, but we offer an exclusive arrangement with our hotel partner, the Wyndham University Center Hotel, located less than one block away. Offering comfortable guest rooms, award-winning dining, and complimentary parking, the Wyndham University Center is convenient to the SummerFest venue and all area attractions. To book your stay at the Wyndham, please mention group code 07156841MC when booking online or over the telephone (412) 682-6200.



Mozart Camp is perfect for tourists. Whether you already know every back street of the city, or have never set foot in the city of three rivers, Mozart Camp offers a great reason to visit the area. And while you’re here, make the most of your trip by visiting some of the region’s other fine attractions: the Andy Warhol Museum, the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park, Frank Lloyd Wright’s impressive Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob. The website of VisitPittsburgh contains many resources to help you plan your visit.

“Pittsburgh has major assets: a natural setting that rivals Lisbon and San Francisco, a wealth of fine art and architecture, and a quirky sense of humor.”
–National Geographic Traveler