TV & Radio
2006年 4月 5日 (水) 11:52
By WILLIAM J. KOLE, Associated Press Writer
Tue Apr 4, 11:33 AM ET
For centuries, historians have portrayed Mozart as poor, but new documents suggest the composer was not nearly as hard-up for cash as many have believed.
Scholars who combed through Austrian archives for an exhibition opening Tuesday on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's later years in Vienna found evidence that he was solidly upper-crust and lived the good life.
Letters show that Mozart repeatedly borrowed money from friends to pay for his travels and his social obligations, and that his family was forced to move at least 11 times. The new documents, on display at Vienna's Musikverein, reveal that he earned about 10,000 florins a year — at least $42,000, in today's terms.
That would have placed him in the top 5 percent of wage-earners in late 18th-century Vienna, say experts, who were unable to prove lingering suspicions that gambling debts took a big bite out of Mozart's earnings.
"Mozart made a lot of money," said Otto Biba, director of Vienna's vast musical archives.
To put his earnings in perspective: Successful professionals lived comfortably on 450 florins a year, according to Biba, who said Mozart's main occupation in Vienna was teaching piano to aristocrats — a lucrative job that helped support his extravagant lifestyle.
Yet Mozart earned a reputation for money-grubbing, and evidence abounds that he squandered much of his cash. Among the items on display at the Musikverein are handwritten letters in which Mozart begged his patrons, publishers and acquaintances for huge sums to settle his debts.
One penned in June 1788 requesting a loan from arts patron Michael Puchberg reads: "If you will do me this kindness ... I shall be able to work with an easier mind and a lighter heart."
The exhibition, which runs through June 30, is part of a year of special events in Austria celebrating the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth in Salzburg on Jan. 27, 1756.
Mozart lived in Vienna from 1784-87, at the height of his brief but prolific music career. Among the works he composed in the Austrian capital was "The Marriage of Figaro."
Mozart, who died in 1791 at age 35, was buried in a pauper's grave at Vienna's St. Marx Cemetery, perpetuating the notion that he spent most of his life barely scraping by in dire financial straits.
A simple column and a sad-looking angel mark the spot where scholars believe he was laid to rest.
No one disputes that Mozart's wealth was long gone by the time he lay on his deathbed.
Researchers at Salzburg's International Mozarteum Foundation say records of Mozart's estate indicate that his widow barely had enough cash to bury him, and that he owed thousands, including debts to his tailor, cobbler and pharmacist.
American composer and music historian Allen Krantz is among those who think that Mozart may simply have been a victim of his own generosity, impulsiveness and largesse.
"Mozart grew up to be undisciplined, unworldly and a soft touch. Money went through his hands like water," Krantz wrote in a recent biography. "Even Mozart's mother, a gentle soul, complained: 'When Wolfgang makes new acquaintances, he immediately wants to give his life and property to them.'"
On the Net:
Official 250th birthday site in English, http://www.mozart2006.net/eng/index.html
International Mozarteum Foundation, http://www.mozarteum.at
Mozart more of a prince than a pauper
Luke Harding in Berlin
Wednesday April 5, 2006
For centuries he has been portrayed as an impoverished genius, who wrote begging letters to his mates and ended up in a pauper's grave. But far from being hard up, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived a solidly upper-crust life and was among the top earners in eighteenth century Vienna, a new exhibition claims.
Letters show that the composer repeatedly scrounged money from friends to pay for his travels, and that his family was forced to move at least 11 times; but documents on display at Vienna's musical society, the Musikverein, reveal that he earned 10,000 florins a year, a huge sum.
"His income put him in the top 5% of the population," Otto Biba, the exhibition's curator, told the Guardian yesterday. "During this period you could lead a very comfortable upper-class life on 500 florins a year. A labourer earned just 25 florins a year."
"The 21st century needs to rescue Mozart from the lingering 19th century romantic image of him as a struggling artist. The truth is that Mozart was a genius, but a genius who earned lots of money towards the end of his life.
"Sometimes he had heavy debts too. It must have been through gaming; there isn't proof, but there is no other explanation."
Mozart earned income by giving piano lessons and concerts and working as a private imperial musician. He had a billiard table and regularly visited his hairdresser. He also had a generous parking space for his carriage and lived for most of his time in Vienna in a seven-room apartment next to the cathedral, the exhibition shows.
The documents on display include an invoice for 800 florins received by Mozart from his royal patron Joseph II. In another letter, Mozart's father Leopold boasts that his son had just earned 1,000 florins for a single concert. "It's incredible," Mozart senior wrote.
The composer lived in Vienna between 1781 and 1791, the year of his death at 35. Although legend has it that he was buried in a pauper's grave, the reality was that he was interred in a regular communal grave in accordance with contemporary practice, Mr Biba said.
The exhibition, Mozart: A Composer in Vienna, opened yesterday and runs until June 30 at the Musikverein. It displays bills and receipts from the last decade of his life, and is part of a year of events in Austria celebrating the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth in Salzburg on January 27 1756.
In Solidarity Against Female Genital Mutilation
TOKYO, Apr 5 (IPS) - When Hiroko Hashizume, 66, first heard of female genital mutilation (FGM) in some Muslim countries in Africa, she was deeply shocked and, later, overwhelmed by a desire to do something to stop the cruel custom.
''I had never heard of FGM and could not believe that young girls were forced to undergo this practice. Even though Africa is far away from Japan, I felt a deep solidarity with African female victims of FGM and wanted to contribute and help activists,'' said Hashizume who was, till recently, a volunteer at Women's Action Against FGM (WAAF), a grassroots organisation.
Hashizume's is a remarkable story in Japan, where the issue of women's reproductive health rights has remained simmering on the back burner.
Said Yumiko Yanagisawa, who founded the organisation in 1996: ''FGM is an issue that is shocking for the Japanese who do not have a tradition that resembles this practice. Yet there is a lot of support when women here find out because they believe in the need for women to be able to make their choices and want more support towards this.''
Yanagisawa is well known in Japan as a translator and feminist author and also for her long advocacy of equal reproductive rights in Japan.
The recent increase of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases among young women have started a debate on the lack of sex education in schools, pitching feminists against conservative politicians who argue against 'gender-free' activities, or the concept of being neutral to sexual differences.
''Japanese women share similar social positions to women in Africa. On both sides, women are considered second-class citizens and cannot make their own decisions concerning their bodies,'' she explained.
Indeed, for Hashizume, a tall, dignified-looking woman, joining the fight against FGM was a means of expressing her deep conviction that individuals, irrespective of gender, must be able to protect their bodies by themselves.
''How can I stand by and watch healthy African women be mutilated in the name of tradition?'' she asks.
FGM, sometimes referred to as female circumcision, is a cultural practice in parts of Africa that involves cutting a woman's genitals, usually before puberty. The ritual can be psychologically, as well as physically, damaging.
The World Health Organization estimates that 100-140 million women and girls have suffered FGM throughout the world and that, each year, a further two million girls are at risk of being forced to undergo the ritualistic practice.
WAAF is run by a staff of volunteer female activists and has 150 members. For a relatively small organisation it has made significant strides in raising awareness about FGM in Japanese society, through seminars and workshops to which African women activists are invited and given platforms to speak.
But the highlight of WAAF activities remains the extension of financial grants to African women's organisations that are fighting FGM.
Although WAAF events in Tokyo are generally patronized by women, recently, a sprinkling of men have begun to attend and show interest in supporting the activities.
A significant development, according to Yanagisawa, is the new leadership of the organisation under a young activist, Miki Nagashima, 28, whose earlier work with refugees has suggested to her the idea of giving asylum to women fleeing FGM.
''During my work with refugees in Japan I met an African woman who was fleeing from FGM in her country. She could not claim refugee status because there is such low consciousness about the situation in Japan -- I hope to change this,'' she explained.
Nagashima, a research assistant at Waseda University, joined the group three years ago when she was looking for new direction in her work, helping refugees at the Japan office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Nagashima, whose own parents had no knowledge of FGM until their daughter took up the issue, works tirelessly, gathering new information about FGM by visiting countries in Africa and speaking about her experiences across Japan.
She told IPS that her new thrust was in seeking support from men in a bid to raise awareness on FGM as a universal social issue.
''Japan has its own sexual abuse issues against female children and there is also rampant domestic violence against women that is only now being recognised as a social problem. This is why it is important to discuss FGM in this context -- as a cross-national social issue that needs to be solved by society,'' she explained.
Activists says the right approach is to bring FGM closer to the Japanese -- even though Yanagisawa explains that care needs to be taken not to be too explicit in Japan's conservative society, where discussion of sexual matters continues to be taboo. (END/2006)
The International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission
13-year old Transgender Child Found Dead in Nepal; Allegations of Anti-Trans Murder Raised
Date: April 3, 2006 Asia & Pacific » Nepal » For Your Information
The International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission learned today of the alleged murder of a thirteen year-old transgender child in Nepal. The Blue Diamond Society (BDS), Nepal's only organization for Sexual Minorities, reported that the child has been repeatedly abused and threatened by her father for being transgender.
Rupesh Mandal, from the Mahotari district of Nepal, was found dead by her mother on March 30. BDS reports that Mandal's father, Tapeshore Mandel, banished Rupesh from the family home upon finding that Rupesh had been visiting BDS's Drop in centre in Janakpur. Rupesh later rejoined the family after promising that she would stop going to BDS.
BDS reports that Tapeshore continued to abuse and assault Rupesh in an attempt to stop her from being transgender, repeatedly stating to neighbors and Rupesh’s friends that he would kill Rupesh unless she stopped being transgender. On March 29, Tapeshore verbally abused Rupesh in front of a friend, again speaking of killing her.
The next morning, Rupesh was dead. Tapeshore claimed to villagers that Rupesh had poisoned herself they had a quarrel. The post modtem report showed no evidence of poisoning, but instead suggested that Rupesh had suffocated or been suffocated.
IGLHRC is deeply saddened by Rupesh’s death, and is looking further into the circumstances surrounding her death.
国防部は同性愛者に対し、▲身体的、言語的暴力行為の禁止 ▲強制採血およびエイズ（後天性免疫不全症候群）検査の強要禁止 ▲個人のプライバシー保護、などを盛り込んだ「兵営内の同性愛者管理指針」をまとめ、今月1日から施行している。