Following the exceptional success of Don Giovanni Mozart stayed for several more days in Prague. They were happy days for him and he spent most of them in the company of the Duschek´s at their summer villa Bertramka. Mozart´s son later told about the origin of the aria that Wolfgang had promised an aria to his charming hostess Josepha Duschek (1754-1834). When his stay in Prague was coming to a close and there was no sign of the aria, Josepha shut Mozart in a garden alcove and would not let him out until he wrote the aria. Mozart submitted to her and composed the aria in a short time. He gave her to Josepha on condition that he would tear it to pieces unless she sang it without a fault. To the astonishment of all the present guests Josepha managed the difficult task excellently.
Rather than being a concert aria the composition is a dramatic scene for a singer capable of temperamental and emotional expression. It abounds in unusual halftone sequences and leaves the singer almost no space for ornamentation.