The Performances of Mozart's Operas in Ljubljana before 1861

  • Jože Sivec

Abstract

As in most theatres of the former German and Austrian territories the first opera by Mozart to have been performed in Ljubljana was probably »Die Entführung aus dem Serail«. This work is to be found among the works performed by the impresario Joh. Friedr. Zöllner in 1787. We know that his company gave performances in Ljubljana in 1785/86 which suggests the probability of a performance of the opera by his company at this time. In the same way it is only indirect material that permits us to draw conclusions about the performances of the opera »Le nozze di Figaro« in 1790/91. This work is to be found in Gothaer Theaterkalender for 1790 among the new operas prepared by the Georg Wilhelm company which gave performances in Ljubljana in 1790/91. The sources for the following operatic seasons provide no evidence of a performance of Mozart in the Ljubljana theatre. However, it seems not unlikely that the public enjoyed some of his operas during this period. Yet there is no doubt that »Die Zauberflöte« and »Cosi fan tutte« were performed as part of the repertoire of operas given in Ljubljana by the impressario Konstantin Parasko-witz during the season 1796/97. The first performance of the former took place on the 19th January 1797 while the later was presented for the first time on the 16th January 1797. The report in Gothaer Theaterkalander for 1800 points to the possibility of performances of »Die Entführung aus dem Serail« in Ljubljana by the Georg Schandroch company in 1798/99 or 1799/1800. We are in no doubt that this impresario included »Die Zauberflöte« in his repertoire on December 1st, 2nd and 13th, 1801 and on the 9th and 10th January 1803. This rather regular and extensive activity by the German opera companies came to a standstill with the French occupation of Ljubljana which began a little later. This standstill lasted 15 years and it is therefore understandable that there is no written evidence of performances of Mozart during these years. In 1818/19 the impresario Carl Waidinger came to the Ljubljana theatre. The activity of German opera was noticabley livelier from this date and Mozart's »Die Zauberflöte« reappeared in the repertoire. The first performances in Ljubljana of Mozart's previously mentioned operas are largely parallel with performances in larger German and Austrian theatres and are even ahead of some other important West European centres. However, we know that the performances of »Don Giovanni« and »La clemenza di Tito« were rather late (i. e. March 23nd 1823, respectively January 9th 1825). As it is known that »Don Giovanni« vas very well received on many of the German and Austrian stages during the years immediately preceding the turn of the century, it is possible that this opera had also been performed earlier in Ljubljana, but we have no source evidence of this. Several performances of Mozart's operas were also given some seasons after the year 1823 when romanticism was gradually introduced into the repertoire of the Ljubljana theatre; as for example »Don Giovanni« (1824, 1832), »Tito« (1825), »Die Zauberflöte« (1826, 1832) and »Die Entführung aus dem Serail« (1831). Performances of Mozart's operas became increasingly rare after 1832 as the Italian and French romantic opera began to dominate; the only performances in the period up to 1861 being 1834 »Tito«, 1840 and 1853 »Don Giovanni« and 1856 »Die Zauberflöte«.

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Published
1967-12-01
How to Cite
SivecJ. (1967). The Performances of Mozart’s Operas in Ljubljana before 1861. Musicological Annual, 3(1), 54-62. https://doi.org/10.4312/mz.3.1.54-62
Section
Articles