Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Please meet my older sister, Josefa Weber:

Mozart's Sister-in-Law, Josefa Weber:
Down-To-Earth Diva--About Myself:

Gruess Gott--meine Damen und Herren!
Ach, do come in and please--bitte--make yourselves at home here in my comfy parlor.
Is the chair comfortable?
I shall bring you some Kaffee and Linzertorten straight away.
I so love how my cooking and meals please my visitors.

Please let me introduce myself, meine lieben Gaeste.
I am Josefa Hofer Mayer, nee Weber, the eldest child of Fridolin and Cecilia Weber, my father being a Musiker by trade.
I was born in the year of our Lord 1759 in Zell im Wiesenthal in the Black Forest.
I was blessed to be born tall in stature, quite the tallest of us four sisters, large-boned, sturdy, and as strong as a horse.
I have energy in abundance, and my bustling about and frequent constitutionals contribute to my great lung capacity, which is indispensable to me in the art of singing.

For I am a soprano at Emanuel Schikaneder's Theater in Vienna and, I am often told, gifted with a fine, strong, powerful voice.
The good Lord saw fit to endow me with a range of more than four octaves, to F above high C.
Yes, my vocal range is Praise God extremely wide and flexible.

Ach, my weakness is food. I LOVE it! And I love to cook; I delight in it and in concocting new and savoury recipes.
I see how my cooking delights especially the menfolk.
How their eyes twinkle and their cheeks glow rosy with pleasure and anticipation, and their lips smile upon first seeing (and smelling) my delicious culinary creations at table.

Ach, meine lieben Gaeste, my love of the culinary arts has alas contributed to my unfortunate avoirdupoids—how I hate to pronounce the word: yes—plain and simple—FAT.
Not that I am obese, mind you—far from it.
And being tall and large-boned, I carry my extra weight well.
I am just a trifling overweight.

My physical imperfections would be of little consequence were it not for Aloysia, the second oldest of us Weber girls.
Aloysia like myself is a songbird to the core, and blessed with an alabaster complexion, small and dainty features, a slim and well-proportioned figure, a ready smile, and coquetterie in abundance.
My voice is more powerful and purer than my sister’s, the Prima Donna's, but it is she who garners all the attention, acclaim, admiration, applause, and throngs of lovesick admirers.

Oh, I do not bear Aloysia any jealousy. It would serve no purpose.
Thanks to God, there is a place also for me on the stage, with my powerful voice, deftness with comedy, razor-sharp timing, and my acting ability.
Thank goodness there is also work for me in my chosen profession; there is a place for me to tread the boards and employ my musical talent.
And, you know, I take comfort in the fact that my extra weight, in my opinion, also gives extra weight and power to my voice.

I suppose that I am known largely because I was the first "Queen of the Night" in my esteemed brother-in-law, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's, opera "The Magic Flute."
Mozart was very instrumental in my life.
I married Mozart's close friend, the violinist Franz de Paula Hofer, my late husband.
After his death, I married singer and actor Friedrich Sebastian Mayer, who likewise interpreted Mozart's music.
Among his roles were Sarastro in "The Magic Flute" and Pasha Selim in "The Abduction from the Seraglio".
Now you know, meine lieben Gaeste, a little of my life and my interests, and the influence upon me of my dear brother-in-law, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Here we are come so soon to the end of our discourse.
I was called to the Lord in December of 1819, aged sixty years.
I am very proud of my daughter, Josefa Hofer-Hoenig, herself also blessed with a beautiful soprano voice.
Like myself, Josefa is a soprano at Schickaneder’s Theater an der Wien and is also a talented pianist.

"Mozart's Sister-in-Law, Josefa Weber:
Down-To-Earth Diva--About Myself" is the exclusive property of Marti Burger, and is not to be reprinted without her written permission.

"Mozart's Sister-in-Law, Josefa Weber:
Down-To-Earth Diva--About Myself"
© Marti Burger 2003-2008

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