Mozart was 30 years old. He was working on “The Marriage of Figaro”, when an order from Emperor Joseph II for 5 music inserts for a short play by Gottlieb Stephanie jr. (the author of a libretto to “The Abduction from the Seraglio”) halted the opera’s composition for two weeks. The short comedy performance, a type of a theatrical divertimento, was supposed to celebrate a courtly dinner party. The story, being a joke about actors and singers, was decorated by Mozart with a brilliant overture in the buffo style, two signature arias performed by sopranos, a trio of sopranos and a tenor, and the final “vaudeville”. The rest was spoken by the actors.
The premiere of this occasional work took place in the Schönbrunn orangery in Vienna on 2nd February 1786. Interestingly, the same celebrations were decorated with the piece by Antonio Salieri, “Prima la musica e poi le parole” (“First the music and then the words”), which also referred to the theme of musical theatre. However, while the first one showed the world of artists from behind the scenes with their trivialities, the second one argued on the meaning of opera and its aesthetics. Salieri won the duel with Mozart with his longer composition (13 songs) only seemingly. After a few performances, “Prima la musica” almost disappeared from the stage, whereas “Der Schauspieldirektor” has spread around almost the entire world and is still in repertoires to this day.
This title is appearing for the first time in the history of the Kraków Opera. The producers have expanded the comedy’s musical material with arias from other Mozart operas, including “Idomeneo”, “Cosi fan tutte”, and “The Magic Flute”.
Staging: Bogusław Nowak
Direction: Beata Redo-Dobber
Stage design and costumes: Ryszard Melliwa
Director's assistant: Mateusz Makselon
Music director's assistant: Joachim Kołpanowicz
Stage manager: Justyna Jarocka-Lejzak
Prompter: Dorota Sawka, Maria Mitkowska
Eiler | Michał Kutnik
Buff | Robert Gierlach
Monsieur Vogelsang | Jarosław Bielecki
Madame Herz | Katarzyna Oleś-Blacha
Mademoiselle Silberklang | Karolina Wieczorek
Herz | Paweł Trojak
Madame Pfeil | Monika Korybalska
Madame Krone | Magdalena Barylak
Madame Vogelsang | Zuzanna Caban