Opera Scotland

Schauspieldirektor The Impresario; Der Schauspieldirektor

Music

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (born Salzburg, 27 January 1756; died Vienna, 5 December 1791)

Text

Gottlieb Stephanie the Younger.

Source

Original

 

Premières

First Performance: Vienna (Schönbrunn Palace Orangery), 1786.

First Performance in UK: London (St James's Theatre), 30 May 1857.

First Performance in Scotland: Glasgow (Theatre Royal), 26 March 1925.

Scottish Opera première: N/A.

 

Background

This comedy, little more than a skit, was an after-dinner entertainment for the Emperor and guests, performed in a double bill with a similar, if slightly longer, work by Salieri, composed to an Italian text - Prima la musica e poi le parole. It is a satire on the everyday problems of theatrical life, in which the long-suffering impresario has to negotiate the minefield presented by the vanities and temperaments of his star singers. While the work itself is seldom performed, its overture is a brilliant piece which often appears in concerts.

 

Main Characters

Frank, an impresario (speaker)

Buff, a comic singer (bass)

Monsieur Vogelsang (tenor)

Mme Herz (soprano)

Mlle Silberklang (soprano)

 

Plot Summary

Frank is busy setting up a theatrical company with the assistance of Buff. Once some actors have been recruited, a pair of sopranos sing an aria each designed to show off their particular talents. They then fall out over the question of which should get the higher fee. The tenor causes consternation by suggesting that he is in fact the star. Peace and sanity are only restored when Frank threatens to abandon the project entirely.

The Cast

Buff
 a comic singer
Buff
 
Frank
 an impresario
Mlle Silberklang
 a prima donna
Mme Herz
 a prima donna
Monsieur Vogelsang
 a tenor

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