In January 1781, Mozart's opera Idomeneo premiered with "considerable success" in Munich. The following March the composer was summoned to Vienna, where his employer, Archbishop Colloredo, was attending the celebrations for the accession of Joseph II to the Austrian throne. Mozart, fresh from the adulation he had earned in Munich, was offended when Colloredo treated him as a mere servant, and particularly when the archbishop forbade him to perform before the Emperor at Countess Thun's for a fee equal to half of his yearly Salzburg salary. The resulting quarrel came to a head in May: Mozart attempted to resign, and was refused. The following month permission was granted, but in a grossly insulting way: the composer was dismissed literally "with a kick in the ass", administered by the archbishop's steward, Count Arco. In Vienna, though, Mozart had become aware of some rich opportunities, and he decided to settle there as a freelance performer and composer.
Mozart was dismissed, freeing him from the demands of an oppressive employer and of an over-solicitous father. Solomon characterizes Mozart's resignation as a "revolutionary step", and it greatly altered the course of his life.