Act Two: Royal Countenance

Story 3 Mesmer & Me – as told by Maria Theresia von Paradis, 1784

The blind Viennese pianist has a dark past, imperial patronage and a splendid run in Paris in the spring of 1784. It is while she takes the Parisian salon set by storm that she meets Valentin Haüy and gives him the final push to open his school for the blind.

Story 4 Nothing Can Hurt Me Now – as told by Marie Antoinette, 1793

Born an Austrian princess, she would become the most infamous of all France’s queens. Haüy’s school for the blind flourishes in the last years of the reign of Louis XVI, climaxing in demonstration for the King and Queen at Versailles. Marie Antoinette reflects on this moment from under the guillotine.


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