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Coming Attractions

Morning Report

May 11, 1988|DEBORAH CAULFIELD | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Austrian musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who died an impoverished 36-year-old two centuries ago, has at last received what he most needed when he was alive--a good agent. In a contract believed to be worth nearly $30 million, the Mozart estate in Salzburg, Austria, has decided to dispense with the decorum previously granted the city's most famous son and offer him up to the highest bidders, to raise money for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of his death in December, 1991. Salzburg's regional governor, Wilfried Haslauer, who engineered the deal, has sworn that "it is the duty of us Salzburgers to ensure that the forthcoming Mozart jubilee does not degenerate into the tasteless" and has created an ethical committee to prevent Mozart from being plundered by firms trading in kitsch. Still, McDonald's is among companies already taking advantage of the Mozart sale and reportedly has a musical game, Mozart Teaches Us to Sing, ready for worldwide distribution this fall. But, one supporter told Reuters: "If Mozart is turning in his grave, it's not because the idea lacks style, but because he missed out on the money."

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