Dat 56 - om baggrunden for operaen
Like her contemporary, Mozart, Maria Paradis toured Europe with her father and was admired as a pianist child prodigy – but she was blind and no one knew why she lost her eyesight at four. Doctor Mesmer treats her with his ‘animal magnetism’ and restores her vision, but she is disenchanted with the world that she now sees and has even lost her ability to play the piano. An unsuccessful performance at court has Maria’s father accuse Mesmer of being a quack and the ensuing uproar leaves Maria blind again. Later on, when she performs in Paris as a grown woman, Mesmer turns up again.