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Music

November 02, 1987| Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera "Don Giovanni" celebrated its 200th anniversary last week in Prague, the city where it premiered--but the trademark phrase that closes the first act, "viva la liberta," was missing. Mozart repeated it a dozen times to pique his enemies in Vienna, the city that spurned him and the seat of the hated Hapsburgs. In September, 1968, one month after the invasion of Soviet-led Warsaw Pact tanks crushed the reform-minded "Prague Spring" of Alexander Dubcek, a conductor repeated the passage three times to tumultuous applause from the audience. But the anniversary audience sat silently and did not remark on the exclamation's absence.

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