The premiere of "Die Entführung aus dem Serail" in Leipzig, and two other updates

We have just published significant updates to three commentaries on our site, including a new article-length commentary on the premiere of Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Leipzig.

The premiere of Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Leipzig

Our continuing research into the performance history of Die Entführung aus dem Serail during Mozart’s lifetime has shown that this document in the Raisonnirendes Theaterjurnal—which refers to a performance of the opera in Leipzig on 4 Oct 1783 that the writer did not attend—is in fact the only known primary source for the true date of the Leipzig premiere of the opera, which has traditionally been said (incorrectly) to have taken place on 25 Sep 1783.

This entry has been given a new title and an entirely new commentary that summarizes the historical context of theater in Leipzig at the time of the premiere of Mozart’s opera, reconstructs the schedule of Pasquale Bondini’s German theater company in Leipzig during the Michaelmas trade fair in 1783 (a schedule that included two performances of Entführung), discusses the probable cast of the opera’s premiere, and examines the evidence for its reception in Leipzig.

Significant updates have also been made to:

Mozart in the Neueröffneter Historischer Bilder-Saal

This entry has been retitled and the commentary modified to clarify its connection to our recently published entry for 5 Mar 1764.

The premiere of Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Strasbourg

New material has been added to this commentary regarding the score of Entführung that Mozart had copied for Jakob Neukäufler to take to the Koberwein company in Strasbourg. The score—almost certainly copied by the shop of Wenzel Sukowaty, court theater copyist in Vienna—served as the basis for the Strasbourg performance of the opera, which was almost certainly the first outside Vienna.

New material has also been added to the discussion in the Source Notes of the Prague premiere of Entführung, including two new documents (one of them not in Dokumente or its supplements) that point to a premiere after Easter 1783, not in the autumn of 1782, as has long been claimed.

The material in this entry has also been rearranged for clarity.

Return to News