Mozart’s opera buffa La finta giardiniera was first performed in the Salvatortheater in Munich on Fri, 13 Jan 1775. It has long been generally accepted that Mozart helped adapt the opera for a German translation a few years later, apparently at the behest of Johann Böhm, whose traveling theater company played in Salzburg in 1779 and 1780. The earliest documented performance of the German version, under the title Die verstellte Gärtnerin, was given by Böhm’s company in Augsburg on 1 May 1780; the company performed the opera a second time in Augsburg, most likely (as we shall see) on 18 May, rather than 17 May as stated in the extract from the Theater-Journal für Deutschland transcribed above.
Oddly, the primary documentation for these performances does not appear in Dokumente or its supplements—in fact, several documents bearing on the early history of La finta giardiniera and its German adaptation are missing from standard reference works. Most of the missing documents have been cited elsewhere in the Mozart literature (albeit sometimes in publications that were hard to find in an era before Google Books), sometimes already in the nineteenth century. Yet perhaps because the primary documents have not been readily available, the secondary literature on La finta giardiniera and its adaptation as Die verstellte Gärtnerin has been something of an echo chamber, with scholars citing previous scholars rather than primary sources, thereby perpetuating several minor errors, omissions, and unexplained inconsistencies in the literature on the opera. The result is a bibliographical tangle that this commentary (and the one for 2 Apr 1782) will attempt to unravel. A reconsideration of the primary documents will not lead to dramatic new revelations about the opera and its history, but it will help clarify the opera’s context and reception during Mozart’s lifetime, correct a number of errors, and suggest new readings of the documentary evidence. Along the way, a few new documents will be added to that body of evidence.
Table of Contents
1. La finta giardiniera in Munich, 1775
2. Johann Böhm
3. Elias and Peter Vogt
4. Böhm’s first engagement in Salzburg (6 Apr to 2 Jun 1779)
5. Böhm’s first engagement in Augsburg (11 Jun to 1 Sep 1779)
6. Böhm’s second engagement in Salzburg (early Sep 1779 to 28 Feb 1780)
7. Böhm’s second engagement in Augsburg (28 Mar to 19 May 1780)
8. Böhm in Ulm, Nuremberg, and Frankfurt (1780)
9. Böhm and Mozart
La finta giardiniera in Munich, 1775(⇧)
The date of the first performance of La finta giardiniera is known from two documents: a letter that Mozart wrote to his mother the day after the premiere, describing the opera’s enthusiastic reception (Briefe, ii:516–17); and a report by Christian Gottlieb Unger, counselor (Legationsrat) of the Saxon legation in Bavaria. (On the notion that Unger’s first names were “Johann Friedrich,” see the Notes below.) Otto Erich Deutsch included Unger’s report in Dokumente (135), but his transcription is copied (not quite perfectly) from the third edition of Jahn’s biography of Mozart, edited by Hermann Deiters (Jahn 1889, i:165). In fact, it was Jahn himself who first added Unger’s report to a revised second edition of his Mozart biography (Jahn 1867, 148), citing as his source Carl von Weber’s 1857 biography of Maria Antonia Walpurgis (Weber 1857, ii:43–44). But Jahn introduced an error in his reproduction of Weber’s transcription, an error that Deiters did not correct (and thus Deutsch replicated), and he omitted a final sentence that is consequently also missing from Deiters and Deutsch. Weber’s transcription reads:
Vendredi [13 Jan] LL. AA. RR. EE. assisterent à la premiere representation de l’opera buffa “la finta giardiniera”: la musique fut applaudie generalement: elle est du jeune Mozart de Saltzbourg, qui se trouve actuellement ici. C’est le même qui à l’age de 8 ans a été en Angleterre et ailleurs pour se faire entendre sur le clavecin qu’il touche superieurement bien. Il a actuellement 17 ou 18 ans.
“LL. AA. RR. EE.” abbreviates the honorific “Leurs Altesses Royales et Electorales,” referring here to Bavarian Elector Maximilian III Joseph, his wife, and his sister Maria Antonia Walpurgis, widow of the Elector of Saxony, Friedrich Christian (d. 1763), and regent for their underage son, Friedrich August (b. 1750). Max III Joseph’s wife, Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony, was the sister of Maria Antonia’s late husband. Maria Antonia Walpurgis was on an extended visit to her brother’s court in Munich at the time of the premiere of La finta giardiniera; Mozart refers to both women in a letter to his mother the day after the premiere:
S: Durchlaucht die Churfürstin, und die verwitwete, |: welche mir vis à vis waren :| sagten mir auch bravo [Briefe, i:516]
Her Serenity the Electress [Maria Anna Sophia], and the widowed one [Maria Antonia Walpurgis] (who were sitting across from me) also said ‘bravo’ to me.
Maria Antonia Walpurgis was herself an accomplished composer. Although she officially resided in Dresden, she often visited her brother in Munich; she had most recently come to Munich in Feb 1774. On 2 Jul she suffered a grave accident there, when the press of a crowd toppled a barrier, breaking her left leg so badly that the bone pierced the skin (regarding her stay in Munich and the accident, see Weber 1857, ii:29–45). She spent her long convalescence in Munich and Nymphenburg Palace, making her first public appearance in a wheelchair on 4 Sep 1774, and her first post-accident visit to the theater in Munich on 22 Sep. Unger described the reaction of the audience to her return:
… à son apparition toute la salle de spectacle retentit d’applaudissements et de claquemens des mains, expression de joye que S. A. R. daigna agreer fort gracieusement … [Weber 1857, ii:31]
Maria Antonia did not return to Dresden until 1 Jul 1775.
Unger was meticulous in his use of abbreviated honorifics, a point that has been overlooked in the Mozart literature. He used “LL. AA. EE.” (“Leurs Altesses Electorales”) to refer to Elector Maximilian III Joseph and his wife, employing the eighteenth-century convention of doubling the letters of an abbreviation to indicate more than one person. Unger used “S. A. R.” (“Son Altesse Royale”) to refer to Maria Antonia Walpurgis alone; she was presumably “royale” because her late husband was the third son of King August III of Poland, the “R” thus trumping the “E” in her case. When Maria Antonia was in the company of Max III Joseph and his wife, Unger wrote “LL. AA. RR. EE.” (“Leurs Altesses Royales Electorales”) or “LL. AA. EE. RR.” (it is unclear if he intended a difference between the two orderings). But Jahn, in copying Weber’s transcription of Unger’s report, gives “L. A. R. E.” (as does Deutsch, copying Jahn by way of Deiters), instead of “LL. AA. RR. EE.”, as it actually appears in Weber’s transcription, presumably made directly from Unger’s original. In Unger’s usage, “L. A. R. E.” is nonsensical: the “L” stands for “Leurs” (“Their”), which Unger used only in abbreviations referring to more than one person, always doubling the letters.
Jahn (and thus Deutsch) unaccountably omits the final sentence from Weber’s transcription of Unger’s entry: “Il a actuellement 17 ou 18 ans.” Unger was, in fact, correct: Mozart was just about to turn 19 at the time of the premiere of La finta giardiniera, but was still 18 on 13 Jan 1775.
Unger also noted in his diary the second performance of Mozart’s opera on Thu, 2 Feb 1775, as well as the third and final one on Thu, 2 Mar 1775; these entries are given in the foreword to the edition of La finta giardiniera in the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe (NMA II/5/8/1), drawing on an article by Robert Münster (Münster 1975; note, however, that the transcriptions in Münster and the NMA are not identical; see the Notes below). The two diary entries do not appear in the supplements to Dokumente (which postdate Münster’s article), even though they are the only known sources for the dates of the second and third performances of La finta giardiniera.
Regarding the performance on 2 Feb, Unger writes:
LL. AA. SS. EE. et RR. [...] se trouvèrent le soir à l’accademie en masque où l’opéra bouffa la finta giardiniera fut réprésenté et suivi d’un ballet pantomime. S.A.S. l’Electeur Palatin, qu s’était trouvé également à ce spectacle, partit ici le meme jour après le souper pour s’en retourner à Manheim. [Münster 1975, 31; NMA II/5/8/1, xiii]
Here, the added “SS.” in the honorific stands for “Sérénissimes,” thus approximately “Their Highnesses Most Serene, Electoral, and Royal.” (The abbreviation “LL. AA. SS. EE. et RR.” seems to have been rare; in a Google search, it turns up only in references to Unger’s diary.) The “Electeur Palatin” was Karl Theodor, the Palatine Elector, who succeeded Maximilian III Joseph as Elector and Duke of Bavaria following Max’s death in 1777. Unger probably added the “SS.” to the abbreviated honorific because of the presence of Karl Theodor, whom Unger refers to individually as “S. A. S.” (“Son Altesse Sérénissime”, “His Most Serene Highness”).
Regarding the third and final performance of La finta giardiniera on 2 Mar, Unger writes:
Jeudi LL. AA. SS. EE. et RR. se trouvèrent le soir à la représentation de l’opéra buffa la finta giardiniera de la composition de Mozard, suivi du ballet des braconniers. [Münster 1975, 33; NMA II/5/8/1, xiii]
“Jeudi” (Thursday) refers to 2 Mar 1775. It is not entirely clear in this case to whom the “S S.” refers in Unger’s abbreviation, as Karl Theodor had remained in Munich for only a few days, departing early in the morning following the second performance of La finta giardiniera on 2 Feb. However, the most important point to be derived from Unger’s abbreviations is that Max III Joseph, very likely also his wife, and his sister Maria Antonia Walpurgis attended all three performances of the opera (as did the composer himself).
The adaptation of La finta giardiniera as a German singspiel seems to have been instigated by Johann Böhm (d. 1792), although the evidence is circumstantial, rather than direct: he had motive (he needed repertory, particularly Italian) and opportunity (he was in Salzburg for two extended periods between Easter 1779 and Lent 1780)—and we know, because his company performed it, that he did in fact end up with a performable German version of Mozart’s opera. But there is no documentary smoking gun connecting Mozart and Böhm in the planning and creation of that adaptation.
Böhm’s early life remains obscure; several standard references say that he was born in Upper Austria around 1740, but this seems to be just a guess. His activities as an actor and director are first attested in Brünn (Brno) around 1770, when he took over the theatrical company of Kajetan von Schaumberg, a company in which he was a performer. According to the Chronologie des deutschen Theaters (Schmid 1775, 304–5):
Kajetan von Schaumberg kam als Mah=
ler nach Brünn, und verfertigte auf Kosten der
Stadt verschiedenen Dekorationen. Auf Antrieb
einiger Vornehmen unternahm er es Pantomi=
men aufzuführen. Als diese zu einförmig wur=
ben [sic], brachte er verschiedne Subjekte für das
extemporirte Theater zusammen, die es dennoch
wagten mit unter Minna und Romeo zu spielen.
Er übergab im September  die Direktion seinem
bisherigen Schauspieler Böhm, welcher durch
regelmäßige Stücke und Singspiele wenigstens
die gröbsten Burlesken zu verdrängen suchte.
—Als im Oktober Herr und Madam Waiz=
hofer von Wien zu diesem Theater kamen,
drangen sie auf die Abschaffung alles Extempo=
Kajetan von Schaumberg came to Brünn
as a painter, and produced various stage sets
at the cost of the city. At the urging of several
of the nobility he undertook to perform pantomimes.
When these became too monotonous, he
brought together various individuals for
improvised theater, who then ventured to
play, among others, Minna [von Barnhelm] and
Romeo [und Julie]. In September 1770 he transferred
direction of his former actors to Böhm, who,
through regular plays and singspiels, sought
to drive out at least the coarsest burlesques.
—When Herr and Madame Waizhofer came
to this theater from Vienna in October, they
insisted on the elimination of all improvisation.
The short-lived Theaterwochenblatt für Salzburg noted in its issue of 7 Feb 1776 (no. 24, 279–80):
Brün. Die Hauptstadt in Mähren hat seit
1722 immer Schauspiel. Alle Truppen hier
zu merken, die da gespielt haben, wäre zu
weitläuftig [sic]. So viel Jahre, so viel Prinzi=
pale, meistens gar schlechte. 1732 wurde
das Theater erbaut. 1770 übernahm’s Kaje=
tan von Schaumberg, verschrieb sich Leute;
unter diesen waren die merkwürdigsten Herr
Waizenhofer [sic] und H. Böhm, welcher letz-
tere in dem nämlichen Jahr die Direktion und
1771 die Entreprise übernahm, welche bis jetzt
noch unter einem jährlichen schadloshaltenden
Abbonnement dauert. Die besten Schauspie=
ler sind: H. u. M. Böhm, H. u. M. Wai=
zenhofer, H. u. M. Unger. Es wird in
Brün seit Anfang des Jahrs 1771 gar nicht
mehr extemporiert. Die besten Stücke wer=
den gegeben. Die Stärke der Gesellschaft be=
steht im Singspiel. — —
Brünn. The capital of Moravia has had
theater continuously since 1722. It would be
excessive to note here all the troupes that
have played there. So many years, so many
directors, mostly very bad. The theater was
built in 1732. Kajetan von Schaumberg
took it over in 1770, engaged personnel;
among these the most noteworthy were
Herr Waizhofer and Herr Böhm, the latter
who took over direction that same year and
in 1771 the enterprise, which has persisted
up to the present under an annual subscription
with guaranteed refunds. The best actors are:
Herr and Madame Böhm, Herr and Madame
Waizhofer, Herr and Madame Unger. There has
been no improvisation at all in Brünn since
1771. The best plays are given. The strength
of the company is in singspiel. — —
Böhm’s large investment in scenery and costumes, something for which he became well known, is noted already in 1777, in the Brünn weekly Prosaische und poetische Beiträge (250, as quoted in d’Elvert 1852, 87; cited also in Fellmann 1928, 2):
[D]er Principal der Gesellschaft, Herr Böhm, hat das Theater in sehr gute Einrichtung gebracht. Er wendet viel auf Decorationen, und die Vorstellungen zu verschönern, und die vom gewesenen Balletmeister Rößler ehedem gemachten neuen Ballete, die alle nach dem Noverre waren, haben ihm an schönen Decorationen und neuen prächtigen Kleidern viel gekostet. Er versucht das Mögliche, um dem Publikum, welches zum Theile viel auf das Aeußere sieht, hierin Genüge zu leisten. Schwerlich möchte ein künftiger Director im Stande sein zu leisten, was er darauf verwendet hat.
The director of the company, Herr Böhm, has brought the theater into very good order. He spends much on stage settings and to beautify the performances, and the beautiful sets and magnificent new costumes for the new ballets formerly created by erstwhile ballet master Rößler, all based on Noverre, have cost him a great deal. He tries to the utmost to satisfy the public, which in part looks very much at outward appearances. Any future director will have difficulty matching what he has spent on this.
Böhm’s company, in conjunction with a ballet troupe led by dancer and choreographer Jean-Georges Noverre, gave a two-month season in the Kärtnertortheater in Vienna in 1776, from 17 Apr to 17 Jun. Böhm’s performances of German singspiel there made such an impression on Emperor Joseph II, who had just established his “Nationaltheater,” that he called Böhm to Vienna to help establish a National-Singspiel. Böhm accordingly left Brünn and came to Vienna with his wife Elisabeth, an actress and singer in his company, and their young daughters Therese and Nanette, joining the newly established singspiel company of the Viennese court theater at the beginning of the theatrical season 1778/79 (on Böhm’s time in Vienna, see principally Michtner 1970, 23, 26 and 41–61). Either Böhm or his wife, or both together performed in ten new productions in Vienna that season, sometimes with their daughters in minor roles (see, for example, the listings for four Böhms on the poster for Frühling und Liebe, given in facsimile in Michtner 1970, 55).
Böhm had apparently joined the court theater in Vienna under the impression that he would help direct the new company, but he quickly realized that any such promise, explicit or implied, had evaporated in the intrigue-ridden theater. From a letter that Leopold Mozart wrote to his son in Munich on 10 Dec 1778, we know that Böhm was already well advanced in preparations to leave Vienna while the season was still in progress:
unterdessen hat ein gewisser nahmens Böhm 2 dänzer hieher geschickt um subscription auf Ostern zu machen. Dieser Böhm hatte kürzlich noch eine grosse Gesellschaft von Schauspielern, Sängern und Tänzern und war vom Mährischen Adl in Brünn viele Jahre unterstüzet.
da er nun aber als ein guter Violinspieler und sonderheit: trefflicher Directeur des orchesters angerühmt wird, so wurde er zu diesem posto ins deutsche Theater zu den Singspielen nach Wienn beruffen. weil ihm aber mehr am Herzen liegt selbst eine Truppe zu führen und er Geld und guardarobba hat, so sammelt er wieder eine Gesellschaft und wird nach Salzb: kommen. die beyden tänzer sind abgereiset, einer derselben ist aber itzt wieder hiehergekommen, und wird hier bleiben, auch soll H: Böhm auch hier eintreffen um alles in Ordnung zu bringen indem er abermahl eine grosse Compagnie sammeln will, es sollen auch, wie dieser Tänzer sagt, bereits einige 20 Personen engagiert seyn.
der Tänzer heist H: Vogt ist ein Deutscher H: Ceccarelli kennet ihn sehr gut von Italien. [Briefe, ii:519]
Meanwhile a certain person named Böhm has sent 2 dancers here to take subscriptions for after Easter. This Böhm until recently had a large company of actors, singers, and dancers, and was supported for many years by the Moravian nobility in Brünn.
Since, however, he is also said to be a good violinist and that rarity, a splendid orchestra director, he was called to this post in the German Singspiel theater in Vienna. But because leading his own troupe lies closer to his heart, and because he has money and costumes, he is again assembling a company, and will be coming to Salzburg. The two dancers have departed, but one of them has returned and will remain here, and Herr Böhm is also supposed to come here to put everything in order, in that he once again wants to assemble a large compagnie; around 20 people, so this dancer says, have already been engaged.
The dancer’s name is Herr Vogt. He is a German. Herr Ceccarelli knows him very well from Italy.
Leopold was incorrect about Böhm’s position in Vienna: Böhm was an actor in the company, not a conductor or violinist (although he does does seem on occasion to have taken on that function in his own company). The musical director of the National-Singspiel in Vienna was Ignaz Umlauf, whose singspiel Die Bergknappen had been the company’s inaugural production, premiering on 17 Feb 1778. Leopold’s letter makes clear that Böhm was already actively recruiting his new company more than two months before the end of the theatrical season in Vienna.
Elias and Peter Vogt(⇧)
Leopold refers to “2 dancers” associated with Böhm who had come to Salzburg to arrange his new company’s first engagement there. According to Leopold, both dancers had left Salzburg, but one, a “Herr Vogt,” whom Ceccarelli had known in Italy, had returned by early Dec 1778. The commentary to Leopold’s letter in Briefe (v:575) identifies the two dancers as Peter and Elias Vogt, and the returning dancer as Peter. While these identifications may be correct, little work has been done on the Vogts, and it may be worth digging a little deeper.
Elias and Peter Vogt were brothers from a Viennese family that produced at least four sons who worked as professional dancers. The eldest, Peter, was baptized on 26 Jan 1749, the son of Joseph Vogt, a servant (“Bedienter”), and his wife Margaretha (†1788). Elias was baptized on 1 Feb 1751, and another brother Franz on 29 Mar 1753. (A fourth brother, Georg Vogt, is also attested as a dancer in Vienna, but seems not to have had much of a career.)
Peter, Elias, and Franz Vogt all began their careers as dancers in the court theater in Vienna, all at early ages. A “Voigt Garçon” appears among the “Amorini” in the fourth of four ballets accompanying the premiere of Traetta’s opera Armida in the Burgtheater on 3 Jan 1761 (Gumpenhuber 1761, 6v). In 1762 and 1763, the names “Vogt” or “Voigt” appear several times in documents referring to the corps de ballet in the Viennese court theaters; it seems likely that these refer to the young Franz Vogt, whose first name appears at least twice in the documents: a 1762 German libretto for a Viennese performance of Hasse’s setting of Metastasio’s Il trionfo di Clelia lists a “Francesco Voigt” among the corps de ballet in the first act (cited in Zechmeister 1971, 247); and “Francesco Voigt” also appears among the “Seguaci D’Apollo” in the ballet “La favola d’Apollo et Daffné” accompanying the premiere of Giuseppe Scarlatti’s Artaserse in the Burgtheater on 4 Jan 1763 (Gumpenhuber 1763, 7r). If these early references do indeed point to Franz Vogt, he would have not yet turned eight at the time of his performance as one of the “Amorini” in Jan 1761.
A Viennese scenario for Noverre’s ballet Médée et Jason, first performed in Vienna on 8 Feb 1767, lists all three Vogts among the “Furies Pour Le Ballet: Les Sieurs Vogt Pierre, Vogt Elias, Vogt Francois ….” (Zeichmeister 1971, 283). Peter, the oldest, had just turned eighteen, Elias had just turned sixteen, and Franz was still only thirteen. All three are likewise listed in the Indice de’ spettacoli for 1767 as members of the corps de ballet in Vienna, as “Francesco Fogt,” “Peter Togt” [sic], and “Elias Fogt.”
On 9 May 1768, Elias Vogt married Maria Josepha Obinger, daughter of actor Johann Georg Obinger; one of the witnesses was the celebrated actor and Viennese Hanswurst Gottfried Prehauser. Elias was just seventeen at the time, although his age is given in the marriage record as nineteen.
Maria Josepha seems to have been an actress; she is probably the “Mademoiselle Obingerinn” listed in the cast for Heufeld’s Liebhaber nach der Mode, which premiered in Vienna on 12 Apr 1766 (see Zechmeister 1971, 277–79 and note 20), and the “Madame Vogtin” who appeared in 1768 in the role of Justel, the wife of Hannswurst, in Hannswurst, der musikalische Seifensieder, with Prehauser in the title role (Zechmeister 1971, 125). It may be, then, that the “Herr und Madame Vogt” who joined the theater in Brünn (Brno) in 1771 as ballet master and actress were Elias and Maria Josepha Vogt (see Müller, Genaue Nachrichten, 1773, vol. 2, 218 and passim). Vogt’s ballets are described there as “[following] the manner of Noverre.” If this identification is correct, then Elias may have crossed paths in Brünn with Johann Böhm, who had likewise recently joined the company and soon took over its management. Elias Vogt is named as choreographer of two ballets given in Vienna in the summer of 1773, Das Narrenhaus (July) and Die Rache der Gratien (August), both said to be “von Erfindung des Herrn Elias Vogt”; most of the other ballets that season were by Noverre, who was still director of ballet at the Viennese court theater.
Franz Vogt seems to have spent nearly all of his short life and career in Vienna, and never to have progressed beyond the level of “figurant.” He is listed (as “Francesco Vogt”) in the Indice de’ spettacoli as a member of the corps de ballet in the “Teatro presso la Porta d’Italia” in Vienna (the Kärntnertortheater) in 1771 (48), 1772 (35), 1773 (54; see also Müller 1773, vol. 1, 80), 1774 (72), 1775 (71), and carnival season 1776 (102). In the Indici for 1774 and 1775, the name “Francesco Vogt” appears just above “N. Vogt” (in other words, a Vogt whose first name the editor of the Indice did not know); this may have been Georg. In 1778 “Francesco Fogt” is listed among the “Figuranti” under Giuseppe Jacobelli in Graz (Indice de’ spettacoli for 1778, 35); at present, this is the only known reference to Franz outside Vienna. He died in Vienna on 21 Dec 1780 at the age of 27; in the notice of his death in the Wiener Zeitung, he is described as “gew[esener] Theatraltänz[er]” (former theatrical dancer).
Both Peter and Elias Vogt had careers as solo dancers and choreographers outside Vienna. Both are attested in Munich in the early 1770s. Peter is listed among the dancers in the court establishment in the Churbajerischer Hof- und Staats-Kalender for 1771, and he is named as a solo dancer in the libretto for Metastasio and Sacchini’s L’eroe cinese, the carnival opera in Munich that year. He is missing from the list of dancers in the Hof- und Staats-Kalender for 1772, but his name does appear in that capacity in the Indice de’ spettacoli that year (as “Monsieur Vogt”; Indice 1772, 35). He is once again listed as a dancer in the Munich court establishment in the Hof- und Staats-Kalender for 1773. Elias Vogt was also in Munich by early 1774: he took the role of Mercure in the ballet Apollon Pasteur that followed the performance of Achille in Sciro, the carnival opera in Munich that year (Peter Vogt is listed among the "Pasteurs Comiques"), and his name also appears among the “Suite des Nimphes, & Genies d’Edonis” in the second ballet following the opera, Alcide sur le chemin fourchu. Both Peter and Elias are listed as dancers in the Munich court establishment in 1774, and the Indice de’ spettacoli for that year lists a “Sig. Foch” as one of the “Ballerini grotteschi” in the court theater in Munich, and “Sig. Foch” (not necessarily the same person) as a choreographer of “balli di mezzo carattere” there. Both Peter and Elias subsequently disappear from the printed Munich rosters.
The Indice de’ spettacoli lists both Peter and Elias Vogt as dancers in Venice in the summer of 1775: Peter in the Teatro San Samuele and Elias in the Teatro San Moisè. Francesco Ceccarelli was performing in Venice at that same time in the Teatro San Luca and thus could have gotten to know both Peter and Elias in Venice (for these three references, see the Indice de’ spettacoli 1775/76, 14–16). Peter Vogt is documented as having danced in several other Italian theaters in 1775, 1776, and early 1777: in Lucca in the autumn of 1775 (Indice 1775/76, 22); in Modena during carnival 1776 (Indice 1775/76, 68); in Reggio in the spring of 1776 (Indice 1776/77, 14); and at the Teatro San Benedetto in Venice in the autumn of 1776 and carnival 1777 (Indice 1776/77, 42, as “Pietro Wogt”; and 117). Elias is listed (as “Elia Vogt") as choreographer and dancer in Ferrara during carnival 1776 (Indice 1775/76, 50), but then disappears from the Italian lists. He is named as a principal dancer with the Jacobelli company in Graz for a performance on 9 Sep 1776 of the ballet Der Sieg der Tugend und der Liebe, following the tragedy Derbi, oder Treue und Freundschaft, the inaugural performance in the new theater there.
By 1779, Peter Vogt was ballet master for the theatrical company of Karl Wahr: his name appears in that capacity on the title page of a scenario for Die Horazier und Kuriazier in Pressburg (Bratislava) in Jan 1779 (expressly imitating Noverre’s Les Horace et les Curiaces, Vienna 1774), and he is listed in the Gotha Theater-Kalender for 1780 (251, based on information from 1779) as “Erster Balletmeister” in the roster of Wahr’s company in Prague.
A “Herr Vogt” is also named in that same roster as “Erster Komiktänzer” (first comic dancer). The identity of this second Herr Vogt (if it is indeed a separate person) is uncertain; however, it is possible that both listings refers to Peter. Given the current limited knowledge of the Vogts, it cannot yet be ruled out that the second “Herr Vogt” in the roster of Wahr’s company refers to Elias, but this seems unlikely on two counts: his attested roles to that point were not comic; and more importantly, the very same volume of the Theater-Kalender (231) already lists a “H. Vogt,” as Böhm’s ballet master in Salzburg and Augsburg for 1779. This seems certainly to have been Elias, given that Peter was with Wahr in Pressburg and Prague.
The hypothesis that Elias was Böhm’s ballet master in 1779 is given additional weight by a roster of Böhm’s company published in the Theater-Kalender the following year (1781, cxxxxvi, reporting information from 1780):
Ballet. H. Vogt: Bal=
letmeister und erster seriöser Tänzer. H. Pe=
ter Vogt: Erster komischer Tänzer.
Ballet, Herr Vogt:
ballet maister and first serious dancer. Herr
Peter Vogt: First comic dancer.
Böhm’s ballet master in 1779 and 1780 was thus almost certainly Elias, and Peter seems to have left Wahr and joined Böhm’s company in 1780 as first comic dancer. If this reading of the evidence is correct, then the “Herr Vogt” referred to by Leopold in his letter of 10 Dec 1778 is probably Elias (whom Ceccarelli could have gotten to know in Venice in 1775). As we shall see, this identification is consistent with a subsequent reference to Elias Vogt in Nannerl’s diary, and with references to both brothers in the later correspondence of the Mozart family.
Böhm’s first engagement in Salzburg (6 Apr to 2 Jun 1779)(⇧)
The first full season of the new National-Singspiel in Vienna ended on 16 Feb 1779, Shrove Tuesday, with a performance of Frühling und Liebe, in which the Böhm family had parts. Böhm’s new company gave its first performance in Salzburg seven weeks later, on 6 Apr, the first Tuesday after Easter; so the company’s engagement in Salzburg was apparently its first anywhere (it is unlikely that it had an intervening engagement during Lent, and there is no known evidence that it did). In her diary for this period, Nannerl Mozart frequently mentions the theater; although she does not mention Böhm by name, she is certainly referring to performances by his company. Her first reference, on 6 Apr (“papa ich und mein bruder in der comedie”), was almost certainly the Böhm company’s first performance in Salzburg, and her last reference during that period, on 2 Jun 1779, was almost certainly the company’s final performance of its first season in Salzburg. (For Nannerl’s diary entries from this period, see Briefe, ii:543–46 and 549–51. Facsimiles with transcriptions are given in Geffray 1998, 36–57; see also Hummel 1958, 42–52. The leaf containing the entries for 26 Mar to 2 Apr 1779 is lost; the contents are known from a transcription in the Wiener allgemeine Musik-Zeitung, 20 Jun 1846, 295.)
On Wed, 31 Mar 1779, a few days before Böhm’s first performance of the season, Mozart wrote in his sister's diary “ein Augenblick um uhr im theatre” (“in the theater for a moment at 3 o’clock”), suggesting that he may have stopped by the theater during one of the company’s rehearsals, or perhaps simply to see what was going on as the company moved in. He did not have to go out of his way to do so. In 1773 the Mozarts had moved from their apartment in the Getreidegasse in Salzburg to a larger one in the so-called Tanzmeisterhaus on Hannibalplatz (today Makartplatz) on the other side of the Salzach River. In 1775 Archbishop Colloredo had ordered that a Ballhaus opposite the Tanzmeisterhaus on Hannibalplatz be converted into a public theater, and it was in this theater that a succession of traveling companies played, beginning with the company of Karl Wahr in 1775 and 1776. Thus the Mozarts lived just steps from the theater; they attended often and probably kept track of what was being performed even when they did not attend. The proximity made it easy for them to become closely acquainted and socialize with members of the visiting troupes, as they did with Böhm’s in 1779 and 1780.
A report published in 1782 in the Theater-Journal für Deutschland (xix:37–45) on the Salzburg engagement of Emanuel Schikaneder’s company in Salzburg in the fall and winter of 1780/81 includes a helpful description of the theater, its schedule, its capacity, and its ticket prices:
Die Spieltäge hier sind, Sonntag, Montag,
Mittwoch und Freytag. Das Einlaggeld ist in der
fürstlichen Gallerie (dann unser Schauspielhaus hat
gar keine Loge) 36 Kr. auf dem Parterre Noble ebenfalls
36 Kr. auf beeden Seiten Gallerien 24 Kr. im zweyten
Parterre 12 Kr. und im lezten Platz unter der fürstlichen
Gallerie 6 Kr. die 2 Seitengallerien haben 3 Bänke
übereinander, wenn alle Plätze gepropft voll sind, so
möchte das Schauspielhaus über 700 Personen fassen.
[Theater-Journal für Deutschland, xix:39]
Performance days here are Sunday, Monday,
Wednesday, and Friday. Admission to the
princely balcony (for our theater has no boxes)
is 36 kr., to the noble parterre likewise 36 kr,
to the two side balconies 24 kr., to the second
parterre 12 kr. and to the last places under the
the princely gallery 6 kr. The two side balconies
have three rows of benches; when all places are
packed full, the theater can hold over 700 people.
The report goes on to give the complete program for Schikaneder’s season in Salzburg, noting the gate receipts from each performance. Receipts ranged from a high of 186 fl. for a performance of Joseph August Count von Törring’s Agnes Bernauerin on 18 Jan 1781, to a low of 34 fl. for a performance of “Die Soldatenlieb” (probably Die Soldatenliebe, Johann Heinrich Friedrich Mülller’s translation of a play by Goldoni) on 30 Dec 1780. These totals are quite modest compared to the gate receipts from larger theaters such as the Burgtheater and Kärntnertortheater in Vienna (see the discussions in the entries for 5 Nov 1784 and 5 Oct 1791).
Over the 58 days of Böhm’s engagement in Salzburg in 1779, Nannerl mentions 22 performances, most of which she attended, often in the company of others; two diary entries, on 16 and 30 May, refer to Wolfgang attending, implying that Nannerl did not. But she mentions no titles, not even for the performance on 19 May 1779, about which she writes:
wir sind in die comedie gegangen, wie ich zurückkam hatte ich, da ich so sehr in der comedie geweint hab Kopf wehe:
We went to the theater; when I came back, I had a headache because I had cried so much in the theater.
In her diary entries from this period, she uses the word “comedie” (best translated in this context as “theater,” rather than “comedy”) 21 times and “operette” just once, in her entry for 8 Apr. However, Böhm’s company probably performed many more singspiels in Salzburg than Nannerl’s terminology implies; in the 40 performances of the company’s first engagement in Augsburg, immediately following its first in Salzburg, it gave singspiels on 28 evenings, and plays on only 12; thus singspiels formed 70% of the company’s program in Augsburg.
From the terse and uninformative entries in Nannerl’s diary during this period, it is difficult to discern regularities in the company’s programming in Salzburg; it is very likely, in any case, that the company gave more performances than she records in her diary. She mentions theater attendances most often on Sundays (seven times), followed by Mondays (five times), Tuesdays (four times), Wednesdays (three times), Thursdays (twice), and Fridays (once). These proportions seem more likely to reflect the Mozarts’ weekly social calendar than the relative proportion of days on which Böhm’s company performed. The only day of the week on which Nannerl does not mention a theatrical performance is Saturday; it may be that Saturday was the company’s day off, or that performances on Saturdays were restricted. Nannerl also mentions attending a ballet rehearsal on 22 Apr.
Böhm’s name does not appear in Nannerl’s diary entries for this period, but two names associated with his company do appear. On Tue, 1 Jun 1779, Nannerl notes in her diary:
nachmittag bei fr v: Antretter: hernach hr: Elias Vogt beÿ uns wir in der comedie:
[Briefe, ii:551; Geffray 1998, 56–57; this entry is not in Hummel 1958]
Afternoon at Frau von Antretter’s. Afterwards Herr Elias Vogt at our place, we in the theater.
This confirms that Elias Vogt was in Salzburg with Böhm’s company in 1779; there is no known evidence placing Peter Vogt with Böhm at this time.
On Tue, 20 Apr 1779, an entry by Wolfgang in Nannerl’s diary states “mit stierle und seiner frau geschwätzt” (“gossiped with Stierle and his wife”). Johann Franz Joseph Stierle (b. 1741), an actor and buffo bass often referred to as “Stierle der Ältere,” was a member of Böhm’s company at this time, as was his wife. (On Stierle and his younger brother Franz Xaver, a rather more prominent actor, see Pisarowitz 1970.) Johann Franz Joseph Stierle is generally credited with making the translation of La finta giardiniera as Die verstellte Gärtnerin, but the primary evidence for this attribution is missing from Dokumente, its supplements, and the NMA edition of the opera. Stierle is named as the translator in the Gotha Theater-Kalender for 1781, in the section “Verzeichniß der lebenden deutschen Schriftsteller und Tonkünstler, die für das Theater gearbeitet haben” (xxvii):
Stierle . . . Schauspieler der Böhmi=
schen Gesellschaft. *Die verfolgte Unbekannte:
die verstellte Gärtnerin: zwey Singspiele, aus
Stierle . . . Actor in Böhm’s
company. *Die verfolgte Unbekannte:
Die verstellte Gärtnerin: two singspiels
from the Italian.
Die verstellte Gärtnerin is the translation of La finta giardiniera. Die verfolgte Unbekannte was apparently a translation of L’incognita perseguitata by Giuseppe Petrosellini, with music by Pasquale Anfossi (Rome 1773); Böhm’s company performed the German version in Augsburg on 19 May 1780 (the day following the second performance of Die verstellete Gärtnerin), and again in Ulm on 5 Jun 1780 (Stadtarchiv Ulm, G 3 1670 - 1899 Theaterzettel 1670 - 1899, Fasz. 1670-1780 Nr. 180). It seems unlikely, however, that either translation was ready for performance during Böhm’s first season in Salzburg, and neither work appears in the company’s repertory during its first season in Augsburg. That the Stierles and Elias Vogt are mentioned in Nannerl’s diary in the spring of 1779 shows, however, that the Mozarts were already socializing with Böhm’s circle during his company’s first season in Salzburg.
Böhm’s first engagement in Augsburg (11 Jun to 1 Sep 1779)(⇧)
Böhm’s company went directly from Salzburg to Augsburg, where it played from 11 Jun 1779 (just nine days after its final performance in Salzburg) through 1 Sep. The Theater-Journal für Deutschland (no. 15, 109–15) gives a detailed report on the company’s first season in Augsburg, including a complete program (the program is given with additional detail in Deininger 1943, 386–92). The company gave 40 performances in Augsburg over the span of 83 days. Its program included 28 different works: 12 spoken plays and 16 singspiels. Nine of the singspiels were repeated two or more times; no play was repeated. This variety of repertory seems to have been typical of Böhm’s company, and indeed of most itinerant theatrical companies in German-speaking lands at this time. During Böhm’s first season in Augsburg, 12 of the 15 singspiels performed were adapted from French originals, with music by Grétry, Monsigny, and a few others. Only three were based on Italian originals: Robert und Kalliste, adapted from Guglielmi’s La sposa fedele, performed four times during the company’s first season in Augsburg; Das gute Mädchen, from Piccinni’s popular La buona figliuola, performed three times; and Das Gärntnermädchen von Frascati, from Paisiello’s La frascatana, likewise given three times. That the singspiels based on Italian originals were the ones most often repeated in the company’s first season in Augsburg suggests that Böhm was catering to the taste of the local audience. The number of repetitions also suggest he may have had relatively few “Italian” singspiels in his repertory at the time. This in turn suggests that he may have made a particular effort between his two engagements in Augsburg to increase the number of singspiels in his repertory derived from Italian originals. During his second season in Augsburg, from 28 Mar to 19 May 1780, the company’s repertory shows an even balance between singspiels derived from French and Italian originals, six each; one of the new works derived from an Italian original was Die verstellte Gärtnerin, adapted from Mozart’s La finta giardiniera, and another was Die verfolgte Unbekannte, based on L’incognita perseguitata. It seems plausible, therefore, that Böhm may have asked Mozart for a German version of La finta giardiniera precisely because he wanted to expand the number of “Italian” works in his company’s repertory.
The report on Böhm’s company in issue 15 of the Theater-Journal für Deutschland (published in 1780) gives a good deal of insight into the company and its actors during the company’s first engagement in Augsburg in 1779. After complaining about the dreadful performances of the Stösler company in Ulm (“unter aller Kritik”—“beneath all criticism”) and the small and poorly laid-out theater in Augsburg (said to have a maximum capacity under 200), the correspondent goes on to write:
Augsburg wird jezt immer mit Schauspielern heimge=
sucht, mit der lezten Stöslerischen Gesellschaft wurd es
zwar gestraft, mit der Böhmischen hingegen wieder belohnt.
Leztere hat seit ihres hiesigen Aufenthalts meist lauter Sing=
spiele aufgeführt, und es scheint auch, daß Herr Direktor
Böhme blos singende Akteurs aufzunehmen sucht, und han=
delt dahero sehr klug, daß er nur sehr wenige Lust= und
Schauspiele bey seinem dortigen Aufenthalt aufgeführet hat
weil seine Gesellschaft hierinnen lange nicht so stark ist, und
dahero Hamlet, der Spleen, Sophie, Merope, die Ho=
razier, u. s. w. lange nicht mit dem Beyfalle als seine
Singspiele aufgeführet worden sind, besonders da jeder
Schauspieler und Schauspielerinn, Rollen, zu der sie
nicht gewachsen waren, spielen mußten.
Herr Böhme hat in aller Absicht große Verdienste um
das Theater, eine gute und reine Kehle, prächtige Gar=
derobbe und ein mit der vortreflichen Musik beseztes Or=
chester: ich war bey Anhörung der Musik wie im Himmel,
wenn mich nicht der hohen und ungeheure Aufputz der lieben
Damen erinnert hätte, daß ich mich auf der lieben Gottes
Erde befinde, wo einer immer dem andern im Lichte stehet.
Er ist stets bemüht seine Zuschauer durch die Auswahl der
schönsten Stücke zu befriedigen, um sich das Wohlwollen
des Publikums dadurch zu erwerben. Seine Singrollen stu=
diert er gut, singt mit vielem Takte und wahrem Ausdru=
cke, und spielt meist alle komische Rollen; so trat er als
Lukas im guten Mädchen, als Basil im Silvain, als Grip=
pon in den beeden Geitzigen, als Schwindel in den Pil=
grimmen von Mecka, als Sepp im Faßbinder, als Him=
melsturm im Deserteur, u. s. w. mit vielem Glücke auf,
und alle diese Rollen schienen ihm vorzüglich zu gehören,
da er sie ganz vortreflich und der Natur aufs getreueste
spielt, dahero auch das Applaudiren kein Ende nahme, und
manche Arie auf Verlangen des Publikums von ihm wieder=
holt werden mußte: nur schade, daß in den meisten auf=
geführten Singspielen manche Arie entweder ganz ausgelas=
sen oder verändert worden ist: ein Fehler der sich bey die=
ser Gesellschaft sehr oft ereignete, und ich die Ursache davon
nicht erfahren konnte.
Es ist sehr zu wünschen, daß Herr Böhme diesen so
unverzeihlichen und bey seiner Gesellschaft so sehr eingerisse=
nen Fehler aufs bäldeste abzuhelfen sucht.
Herr Bilau, dem in seinen Rollen Figur und Anstand
sehr zu Hülfe kommt, und unter den guten Schauspielern
mit Recht Platz nehmen darf, seine Stimme ist rein, und
seine Aktion natürlich.
Gleich neben ihn stell ich Herrn Stierle, Herrn Zim=
merl. Beede sehr gute Sänger, die ihre Stellen treflich
auszudrücken wissen: immer sah ich sie mit Natur und
Herr Miller, Herr Kerscher, Herr Simoni, Herr
Schmidt, Herr Brandstetter, Herr Viehhäuser und Herr
Setzer sind zwar in ihren Stimmen sehr gut, sie sollten
aber sorgfältiger memoriren, und sich mehr in die Lage ihrer
Rollen hinein zu studieren wissen. Herr Vogt, ist Ballet=
meister. Seine Ballete sind sehr geschmackvoll, und die mei=
sten von dem Noverre nachgeahmt.
Madame Böhme, eine sehr schöne und gut gewachsene
Frau, eine vortrefliche musikalische Sängerinn, die Leiden=
schafte ergreifen ihr Herz, und ihr beredtes Gefühl dringt
in die Seele des Zuschauers, der Schönheiten zu fühlen
weiß. So bald sie auf der Bühne erscheint, flieht ihr
klatschender Beyfall entgegen, und hier ists keine Cabale
noch Unwissenheit des Parterrs, es ist übereinstimmendes Lob
des Kenners. Die ganze Vortreflichkeit ihres Spiels zu
schildern ist mir unmöglich; und ich bin auch nicht zu enthu=
siastisch, wenn ich sage, daß sie in schalkhaften und über=
haupt in komischen Rollen nicht mehr zu übertreffen ist.
Mademoiselle Böhme, ein allerliebstes hofnungsvolles
Mädchen von 9. Jahren, hat das Theater mit einem Pro=
log und mit erstaunendem Beyfall eröfnet. Im Silvain er=
schien sie als Lukette, sie sang mit bewunderungswerther
Stärke und mit sehr vieler Natur. Wenn dieses reizende
Mädchen mit dem Fleiße und dem emsigen Bemühen natür=
lich hinreissend zu seyn, in dem Grade fortfährt, so möchte
sie mit der Zeit eine Mad. Sacco übertreffen, die fast nichts
als den unnachahmlichen sanften Ton ihrer Stimme zum
Mad. Zimmerl singt gut. Wenn sie doch weinger in
ihren Gestikulationen affektirte, und sich nicht so sehr nach=
läßig trüge! Es scheint sie ist von ihrer Schönheit und von
ihren Verdiensten zu sehr eingenommen, als daß sie sich
hierinn besserte. Sie memorirt sehr gut und als Tänzerinn
ist sie vortreflich.
Madame Perchtold, Mademoiselle Amor, Mad. Smitt,
Molle, Weinert, Mad. Miller haben alle gute Singstim=
men, und würden ganz ohnfelhbar noch besser und reiner
singen, wenn sie nicht als Tänzerinnen gebraucht würden.—
[Theater-Journal für Deutschand, no. 15, 110–13]
Augsburg is at present continually plagued by actors; with
the recent Stösler company it was indeed punished; with Böhm’s
on the other hand it was again rewarded. The latter performed
mostly singspiels during its engagement here, and it also seems
that Herr Director Böhm looks to hire only singing actors; and
he is very clever in doing this, as he performed only very few
comedies and plays during his engagement, because his
company is not so strong in these, and thus Hamlet, Der Spleen,
Sophie, Mérope, Die Horazier, etc. have not by any means been
received with the acclaim that his singspiel performances have
received, especially because every actor and actress had to
play roles that they were not equal to.
Herr Böhm has in every respect done great service to
the theater, has a good and pure voice, magnificent
costumes, and an orchestra staffed with excellent musicians:
I felt I was in heaven while listening to the music, had not the
tall and monstrous hair-dos of the dear ladies reminded me
that I was on dear God’s earth, where one person is always
standing in another’s light. He constantly strives to satisfy his
audience with the most beautiful pieces, in order thereby
to obtain the goodwill of the public. He prepares his singing
roles well, sings with much tact and true expression, and
plays almost entirely comic roles; thus he appeared with
much success as Lukas in Das gute Mädchen, as Basil
in Sylvain, as Grippon in Die beiden Geizigen, as Schwindel
in Die Pilgrime von Mekka, as Sepp in Der Faßbinder, as
Himmelsturm in Der Deserteur, etc., and all of these roles
seemed to be eminently suitable to him, as he plays them most
excellently and truly naturally, such that there is no end
of applause, and he must by public demand encore many
arias; only it is a pity that in most of the singspiels that are
performed, some arias are either omitted entirely or
altered: a failing that happens often with this company, and
for which I have not been able to learn the cause.
It is very much to be hoped that Herr Böhm will seek as
soon as possible to repair this unforgivable and so very
Herr Bilau is greatly helped in his roles by his
physique and manner, and may rightly take his
place among the good actors: his voice is pure and his
At this same level I place Herr Stierle, Herr Zimmerl.
Both are very good singers, who know how to express
their parts splendidly; I always saw then perform naturally
and with ease.
Herr Miller, Herr Kerscher, Herr Simoni, Herr Schmidt,
Herr Brandstetter, Herr Viehhäuser, and Herr Setzer are
indeed very good with their voices, but they should
memorize more carefully, and learn how to inhabit their
roles more deeply. Herr Vogt is ballet master. His ballets
are tasteful and mostly imitate Noverre.
Madame Böhm, a very beautiful woman with a good
figure, an excellent and musical singer; the passions
seize her heart and her eloquent emotions penetrate
the soul of the spectator who knows how to feel the
beauties. As soon as she appears on stage,
she is greeted with applause, and this is neither cabal
nor ignorance in the parterre, it is unanimous praise from
the connoisseur. It is impossible for me to portray
the full excellence of her performance, and I am
not being overly enthusiastic when I say that she is
unsurpassed in devilish roles and comic roles in general.
Mademoiselle Böhm, a lovely and promising girl of
nine, opened the theater with a prologue received with
astonishing applause. In Sylvain she appeared as
Lukette, she sang with marvelous strength and great
naturalness. If this charming girl continues with the
same degree of diligence and assiduous effort to be
so naturally enchanting, she may in time surpass
a Madame Sacco [Johanna Sacco], who has almost
nothing to her advantage except her inimitably gentle
Madame Zimmerl sings well. If she were only less
affected in her gestures, and did not carry herself so
negligently! It seems that she is too much taken with
her own beauty and her merits to bother improving in this.
She memorizes very well and is excellent as a dancer.
Madame Perchtold, Mademoiselle Amor, Madame Smitt,
Molle, Weinert, Madame Miller all have good singing
voices, and would certainly sing even better and more
correctly if they were not used as dancers.
As this report suggests, Böhm’s repertory in Augsburg was heavily weighted toward the light, comic, and sentimental, leavened only occasionally by a “serious” play or tragedy: Voltaire’s Mérope, in a translation by Gotter, on 18 Jun; Möller’s Sophie, oder Der gerechte Fürst on 8 Jul; Stephanie d. J.’s Der Speen on 12 Jul; Hamlet on 15 Jul; and Die Horatier, a translation by Keppner from Corneille’s Horace, on 29 Jul. Although the company’s repertory during its immediately preceding season in Salzburg remains entirely unknown, it is likely to have included many of the works performed during its first season in Augsburg (although, as we shall see, the repertory of Böhm’s company was remarkable for its diversity, rapid turnover, and avoidance of repetition). Although his company is often said to have been large, and soon became so, its size seems still to have been relatively modest in 1779, during its first engagements in Salzburg and Augsburg. The Gotha Theater-Kalender for 1780 (231, based on information from 1779) lists just twenty actors in Böhm’s company, nine female and eleven male, including Böhm, his wife, and one of their daughters, along with Herr Vogt (very likely Elias) as ballet master, but no additional dancers or other staff, suggesting that members of the company probably fulfilled a variety of functions in addition to acting. The following year the Theater-Kalender (cxxxxv and ff.) lists as many as forty members in Böhm’s company (the exact number is uncertain): twenty-two actors (thirteen male and nine female, two of whom are also listed as dancers); five solo dancers along with four pairs of “Figuranten” (some of whom may also have been among the actors); and five additional staff (a music director, répétiteur, bassoonist, souffleur, and a painter who doubled as “machinist”).
The correspondent to the Theater-Journal writes of the splendid impression made by the orchestra, but no orchestra is named in either of the company’s rosters in the Theater-Kalender, apart from a music director and the bassoonist mentioned in the Theater-Kalender for 1781. It may be that Böhm’s company had its own orchestra (some traveling companies did), but at present we have insufficient evidence to say. It may be, on the other hand, that Böhm recruited all or part of his orchestra from among local musicians in the towns in which his company played.
Twenty-six of the company’s forty performances in Augsburg in 1779 were paired with ballets. Thirteen different ballets were performed, of which eight were repeated two or more times. The most often repeated (five times) was Adelheid von Ponthieu, by “Herr Vogt” (it is not specified which) in imitation of Noverre’s Adèle de Ponthieu, first performed in Vienna in 1773. As it happens, a printed scenario survives for Vogt’s version of Noverre’s ballet as it was “performed in the princely theater in Salzburg” (to our knowledge, this scenario has not previously been mentioned in the Mozart literature). The title page reads:
in fünf Abtheilungen.
Erfindung des Herrn Noverre.
Nachgeahmt von Herrn Vogt.
Aufgeführt auf den hochfürstl. Salzburger
Theater unter der Direction des Herrn Böhm.
The scenario is not dated, and we cannot be sure whether it was printed for the Böhm company’s first season in Salzburg, in spring 1779 (in which case “Herr Vogt” was probably Elias) or its second one the following autumn and winter (when it might have been either Elias or Peter). But given that Adelheid von Ponthieu was performed five times during the company’s first season in Augsburg (on 11, 23 Jun, 5, 13, and 29 Jul 1779), it is tempting to think that the ballet had also been given during the immediately preceding engagement in Salzburg. The Böhm company also performed the ballet Don Juan in Augsburg (based on Angiolini’s ballet with Gluck’s music, perhaps supplemented with additional music by others) on 25 Jun, and 1 and 9 Jul 1779, and it is quite possible that it also performed this ballet in Salzburg during one of its two engagements there (on the Böhm company’s performances of Don Juan, see Dahms 2007, 434).
Böhm’s second engagement in Salzburg (early Sep 1779 to 28 Feb 1780)(⇧)
Böhm had arranged to bring his company back to Salzburg immediately following his first engagement in Augsburg, but seems to have regretted the return almost immediately. He sent letters from Salzburg complaining about new restrictions on the numbers of days when performances were allowed and new administrative fees that he was required to pay (for transcriptions of Böhm’s letters from Salzburg see Deininger 1943, 368–78). The earliest of the letters explicitly marked as having been written in Salzburg is dated 11 Sep 1779; in it, Böhm writes that were he not actively being prevented from doing so, he would immediately bring his company back to Augsburg. But by the beginning of Nov, Böhm wrote that Archbishop Colloredo had refused to release him from his agreement (he included a copy of Colloredo’s quite nasty letter), and that his company was obliged to remain in Salzburg through Ash Wednesday, 9 Feb 1780.
Whereas Nannerl’s diary survives complete for all of Böhm’s first season in Salzburg, only two leaves of the diary are known to survive from the time of the company’s second engagement there in the autumn and winter of 1779–1780. The first fragment covers the dates 2 to 16 Dec 1779 (on two sides of a single leaf); the second fragment was long believed to date from the last two weeks of Mar 1780, but (as we shall see) actually covers the period 18 Feb to 7 Mar. Two additional leaves long been thought to refer to the period 15 to 28 Sep 1779 have recently been redated (certainly correctly) to 15 to 28 Jun 1780 (see Geffray 1998, 74–81, and the explanation on 214, note 287); these leaves do not mention the theater.
In contrast to her diary from the period of Böhm’s first season in Salzburg, in which Nannerl gives no titles or other details about the company’s performances, the fragment of her diary from 2 to 16 Dec 1779 (Geffray 1998, 62–65; Briefe ii:554–55; Hummel 1958, 64–66) appears to list every performance by Böhm’s company during that fifteen-day period, nine performances in all, on 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, and 14 Dec. Titles are given for the main pieces in every case, and for all but one of the accompanying ballets. She (and her brother, who wrote the entry on 2 Dec) also number the performances, “51” to “59,” implying that the company had already given 50 performances between its return to Salzburg in early Sep and the fragment’s first entry on 2 Dec 1779. During the 15 days covered by the fragment, the Böhm company gave seven different plays and two singspiels (Nannerl calls both “operette”): a German version of Paisiello’s La frascatana on 13 Dec, and Böhm’s own Die verkappte Braut on 9 Dec. (Nannerl specifies that Böhm wrote both the text and the music of Die verkappte Braut, adding “das operette sehr schlecht”—“the operette very bad.”) No play or singspiel was repeated during the fifteen days. All nine performances included ballets; titles are given in the diary for six ballets, and one ballet, on 12 Dec, is unnamed. Two ballets were repeated: Diane et Endymion, based on Noverre, on 2 and 5 Dec; and a ballet that Nannerl calls “der ungerische zwifelkrämmer” on 6 and 14 Dec. A poster from a performance by the Böhm company in Ulm on 31 May 1780 shows that the full title of this ballet was Der betrogene Vormund, oder Der ungarische Zwiefelkrämer (Stadtarchiv Ulm, G 3 1670 - 1899 Theaterzettel 1670 - 1899, Fasz. 1670-1780 Nr. 177); “Zwiefel” is Bavarian and Austrian dialect for “Zwiebel” (“onion”), so the title translates as “The Betrayed Guardian, or The Hungarian Onion-Seller”). This ballet was performed at least four times during the Böhm company’s subsequent season in Augsburg (on 30 Mar, 13 and 17 Apr, and 9 May; it is possible that “das ungarische Pas de Deux” listed for 7 Apr also refers to this ballet). The ballet’s creator is not named, but Böhm’s ballet master Elias Vogt or his brother Peter are likely candidates.
The diary entry for Thu, 2 Dec is in Wolfgang’s hand. It gives an interesting snapshot of one of Böhm’s performances, as well as typical examples of Mozart’s wordplay:
den 2:ten das Theater durch ein glöckelzeichen
nach geendigter ouvertüre zum 51:ten mahle
eröfnet worden, mit einem militairischen
Traum in 2 auf= und abzügen.
Nach geendigten Stücke wurde durch Herrn
Stierle auf folgenden Tag nämlich
auf Freÿtag den # — angekündigt …..
alsdan[n] wurde Musicirt—Menuett und
Trio—NB öfters wiederhollt—alsdan[n]
ein Allegro—Endlich aber kam[m] Böhm
ins Orchestre—und alles lebte auf—
eine introduction wurde gespiellt—
und—kling kling!—der Vorhang
auf—und da fing das monologisiche
Ballet an—Diana und Endimion—
und wie es aus war, kon[n]te Jederman[n]
nach seinem belieben nach Hause gehen—
[This transcription is based on the facsimile in Geffray 1998, 63; it varies in some details from the transcriptions given there, and from those in Briefe, ii:554–55, and Hummel, 65. On the conventions used for this transcription, see the Notes below.]
The 2nd. With the sound of a bell
after the end of the overture, the
theater was opened for the 51st
time with Ein militairischer Traum
in 2 acts and departures.
After the end of the play Herr
Stierle announced for the
following day, Friday the # —…..
Then there was music—Minuet and
Trio—NB: frequently repeated—then
an Allegro—Finally Böhm came into
the orchestra—and everything livened
up—an Introduction was played—and—
Ding ding!—curtain up—and then
began the monologic ballet—Diana und
Endymion—and when it was over,
everyone could, as he preferred, walk,
drive, or ride home.
(Mozart’s play on words “Auf- und Abzüge” cannot be adequately rendered in English. “Aufzug” in this context means the “act” of a work for the stage, but it can also mean “parade” or “procession”; “Abzug” can mean “departure” or “decampment.” Mozart’s pun is, essentially, “Ein militairischer Traum in two marchings up and down.”)
It seems that Böhm, who very likely performed as an actor in the main piece, then served as director of the orchestra in the ballet (probably as violinist), with the musicians “vamping till ready” as he changed out of his costume and made his way to his place in the orchestra. The title to which Mozart refers, Ein militairischer Traum, has not been identified. As far as we know, there was no performance the next day, on Fri, 3 Dec, and Mozart himself omits writing the day number; the next performance mentioned in Nannerl’s diary is the day following, on Sat, 4 Dec.
Nannerl’s diary survives in fragments because many of the original leaves with passages in Wolfgang’s hand were cut up to give away as keepsakes. The second fragment of Nannerl’s diary from the period of Böhm’s second engagement in Salzburg originally consisted of a single leaf, with an entry in Wolfgang’s hand filling one side, detailing the program of a concert on “the 18th” (the month is not named) in which several members from Böhm’s company participated; Nannerl’s subsequent entries for dates following the “18th” were on the reverse side of the original leaf. This leaf was at some point cut in half horizontally, and the upper and lower halves had different histories. The upper half contains Mozart’s listings for items 1 through 5 of the concert on the “18th,” and the reverse side contains Nannerl’s entries for “the 21st” to “the 28th”; this half of the leaf is now in the collection of the Mozarteum in Salzburg (both sides are given in facsimile in Geffray 1998, 67 and 69). The lower half of the leaf, containing Mozart’s entries for items 6 through 9 of the concert on the “18th,” was originally attached to a page in the Stammbuch (album) of Alfred Ritter von Franck, now in the possession of the Wien Museum (formerly called the Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien). The lower half of the original leaf was apparently unknown to Hummel, who does not include a facsimile of it, but Geffray (1998, 67) gives a facsimile of the side with the continuation of Mozart’s entry. The transcription in the third volume of Briefe (iii:3) gives only Wolfgang’s side of the lower half of the original leaf, because when the volume was published in 1963, that half was still attached to the page in Franck’s album, and the other side could not be read.
No month is named on the portions of the leaf that have been described so far, but Hummel and the editors of Briefe placed the concert on 18 Mar 1780, and dated Nannerl’s entries on the top half of the reverse side to 21, 27, and 28 Mar, dates often repeated in subsequent Mozart literature. There is, however, a problem with this dating: Böhm’s company gave the first performance of its second season in Augsburg on 28 Mar 1780, the same day that, by the accepted dating of the diary entries, Böhm and his wife had departed Salzburg. Hummel (1958, 68) recognized the problem, but dismissed it by saying that Nannerl’s dates were often unreliable.
By the time of the publication of commentary on this leaf in volume 6 of Briefe (vi:3–5, published in 1971), it had been possible to detach the lower half of the leaf from Franck’s album and read what was on the other side. The newly visible material reads:
hr und fr: zimerl [rest of line missing]
hr Murschhausser in 2 waagen
und in einem schlitten die 2 Dienstmägde
von Böhm von hier auf augspurg gerreist.
Das Monat Merz
den 3[ten] wieder ein feuerwerk in der
den 6[ten] der fürst von berchtolsgarn gestorben.
den 7[ten] die geweste bauerfeind Stanzel
As Geffray recognized (as did, independently, Ruth Halliwell; see Halliwell 1998, 643–47), when the original leaf is “reassembled” (either mentally or using images), Nannerl’s reference to “March” (“Merz”) at the bottom of the page shows that her entries on the top half of that page should be dated 21, 27, and 28 Feb (not 21, 27, and 28 Mar), and Wolfgang’s entry regarding the concert on the other side of the leaf should therefore be dated 18 Feb 1780 (not 18 Mar).
Nannerl’s entries on the reconstructed leaf read in full:
d[en] 21t[en] auf 6 uhr auf die nacht ein feier=
werk in der Sommer Reittschule.
d[en] 27t[en] 2 wägen fortgefahren: in ersten
wagen Hr und Fr Müller, Hr und Fr Stierle
2 Kinder von der Madame Müller, und
die Deinstmägd. d[er] 2t[e] wagen Hr und
d 2t wagen
Madame smitt, die Mutter von Md:
Stierle, Hr und F Kerscher, ein Kind
von Md: smitt. und die dienstmagd
von Madame smitt.
d[en] 28t[en] um 7 uhr Mr: et Md: Böhm ihre 3
Kinder und bilau in einem wagen.
hr und fr: zimerl und schwester
und hr Murschhausser in 2 waagen
und in einem schlitten die 2 Dienstmägde
von Böhm von hier auf augspurg gerreist.
Das Monat Merz
den 3t wieder ein feuerwerk in der
den 6t der fürst von berchtolsgarn gestorben.
den 7t die geweste bauerfeind Stanzel
[Transcription amended from Geffray 1998, 68]
the 21st at 6 at night fireworks
in the Summer Riding-School
the 27th, 2 coaches departed: in the first
coach Herr and Frau Müller, Herr and Frau Stierle,
2 children of Madame Müller, and
the servant girl. The second coach Herr and
Madame Smitt, the mother of Madame
Stierle, Herr and Frau Kerscher, a child
of Madame Smitt.
the 28th at 7 [am], Monsieur et Madame Böhm,
their three children and Bilau in one coach.
Herr and Frau Zimmerl and sister
and Herr Murschhauser in 2 coaches
and Böhm’s 2 servant girls in a sled
departed from here to Augsburg
The month of March
The 3rd. Again fireworks in the Summer Riding-School
The 6th. Prince von Berchtesgaden died.
The 7th, Stanzel [i. e. Konstanze] née Bauernfeind
This makes perfect sense chronologically, and also makes sense in seasonal context: Ash Wednesday (the end of Böhm’s commitment in Salzburg) fell on 9 Feb 1780, and 28 Mar (the day of the Böhm company’s first performance in Augsburg) was the Tuesday after Easter, a common day on which to start a new theatrical season. The fact that fireworks began at 6 pm in Salzburg on 21 Feb, when it would still have been dark at that early hour, likewise makes sense. The Böhm company left Salzburg on 27 and 28 Feb 1780, and Mozart’s concert (which included performances by members of Böhm’s company) took place on 18 Feb 1780, roughly halfway between the end of their theatrical season and their departure for Augsburg. The diary entries also make clear that Nannerl Mozart had become friendly enough with members of Böhm’s company to see them off on two successive days and to give detailed lists in her diary of which people were traveling in which coaches.
All but one of the names mentioned by Nannerl appear in the report in the Theater-Journal für Deutschland cited above, and in the rosters for Böhm’s company in the Theater-Kalender for 1780 (231): Herr and Frau Müller (“Miller” in the Theater-Kalender), Herr and Frau Stierle, Herr and Madame Smitt (Nannerl’s “Herr Smitt” is probably the “Herr Schmidt” in the Theater-Journal), Herr Kerscher (his wife seems not to have acted with the company), Herr Bilau (“Bühlau” in the Theater-Kalender for 1780, “Bilau” in the Theater-Kalender for 1781), and Herr and Frau Zimmerl. Most of these names still appear on the company’s roster in the Theater-Kalender for 1781 (cxxxxv–cxxxxvi), as does that of Herr Murschhauser, the one name in Nannerl’s diary that does not appear in the Theater-Kalender from the previous year; Murschhauser is described in the Theater-Kalender for 1781 as “erster Bravoursänger im Singspiele” (leading bravura singer in singspiels). The company evidently traveled with spouses (not all of whom were performers), as well as children, servants, and even the mother of one of the performers.
Mozart’s listing of the program for the concert of 18 Feb 1780 is full of wordplay and puns on the names of the participants. The names are deciphered in the commentary in Briefe (vi:4), so there is no need to recapitulate the identifications here (for a helpful discussion in English of Mozart’s concert program, see Zaslaw 1989, 340–42; note, however, that Zaslaw still dates the concert to 18 Mar 1780). The members of Böhm’s company who participated in the concert were Marianne Böhm (Böhm’s wife), Madame Schmitt, Herr Zimmerl, Herr Kerscher, and Herr Murschhauser. Madame Schmitt sang an unidentified Italian aria; Madame Böhm, Herr Zimmerl, and Herr Kerscher an unidentified “three-voiced terzett” (“ein dreystimmiges Terzett,” as Mozart playfully put it) by Salieri; and Madame Böhm sang an aria by Grétry accompanied by Joseph Fiala on oboe and Herr Murschhauser on harp. The sixth number of the program, Mozart writes, was “die aria von trompetten, paucke, flötten, oboe: bratschen, fagotte und Bässe von mir” (“the aria with trumpets, timpani, flutes, oboes, violas, bassoons and basses by me”). Mozart does not name the singer or the work, but it has been suggested (Briefe vi:4; Zaslaw 1989, 342) that this may have been “Dentro il mio petto,” no. 3 in La finta giardiniera, sung by Herr Murschhauser (the aria became “In meiner Brust erhallet” in Die verstellte Gärtnerin). The aria was followed on the program by the first-act finale of L’incognita perseguitata by Anfossi, an opera that, like Die verstellte Gärtnerin, was about to be (or perhaps already had been) taken into the performing repertory of the Böhm company in Stierle’s translation as Die verfolgte Unbekannte.
In spite of a lack of direct documentary evidence to verify the connection, there can be little doubt that the adaptation of Mozart’s La finta giardiniera as Die verstellte Gärtnerin was prepared specifically for Böhm’s company, probably at Böhm’s request and with Mozart’s participation, possibly because Böhm was attempting to increase the number of singspiels in his repertory with music in the style of Italian opera buffa. There is no reason to doubt that the translation of the opera’s libretto was made by Johann Franz Joseph Stierle, a member of Böhm’s company, who was personally acquainted with the Mozarts, as we know from Nannerl’s diary. The detailed timeline of the creation of the adaptation remains unknown: it may be that it was first discussed during Böhm’s first engagement in Salzburg in the spring of 1779, or perhaps not until his second engagement there beginning in Sep 1779. On the basis of the available evidence, we cannot say whether the German version of La finta giardiniera was performed in Salzburg during the Böhm company’s second engagement (Nannerl surely would have mentioned it in her diary had the opera been given during the company’s first engagement in Salzburg). Some scholars have stated with assurance that the opera was performed in Salzburg, while others (for example, the NMA edition of the opera) have claimed with equal confidence that it was not. In fact we simply do not have sufficient evidence to say one way or the other. Böhm’s second season in Salzburg lasted five months (from early Sep 1779 to 9 Feb 1780, Ash Wednesday); based on the numbering of the performances in Nannerl’s diary in Dec 1779 and the frequency of performance suggested by her entries, we can extrapolate that the company gave at least 80 performances during its second season in Salzburg. We know the titles of the main works performed for just nine of these.
Böhm’s ballet master Elias Vogt married Josepha Amor in Salzburg on 26 Jan 1780 (see Rech 1975, 190). Amor is listed as an actress in Böhm’s company in the Theater-Kalender for 1780 (231, based on information from 1779) and is mentioned in the long report on Böhm in issue 15 of the Theater-Journal (113) transcribed above. The date of death of Vogt’s first wife, Maria Josepha, is unknown.
Böhm’s second engagement in Augsburg (28 Mar to 19 May 1780)(⇧)
Die verstellte Gärtnerin was performed twice during the Böhm company’s second engagement in Augsburg. The company’s program in Augsburg is known from two sources that do not quite agree with one another. The Theater-Journal für Deutschland (no. 17, 103–7) gives a complete program for the company’s second season in Augsburg, from 28 Mar (the Tuesday after Easter) to 19 May 1780; the Theater-Journal is the source for the transcriptions at the top of this page. Unlike the program for the Böhm company’s first engagement in Augsburg in 1779, for which the Theater-Journal is the only known source, there is (or was) a second source for the program of the company’s second season in Augsburg: Franz Xaver Rigler’s Verzeichnis der Komödien, Operetten und Ballette, die während der Augsburger Spielzeit des Jahres 1780 aufgeführt wurden (cited in Deininger 1943, 381ff). Rigler was souffleur (prompter) for the Böhm company and also a dancer (his name is given incorrectly in the Gotha Theater-Kalender for 1781 as “Giegler”, corrected to “Riegler” in the Theater-Kalender for 1783). The Theater-Journal and Rigler’s Verzeichnis agree that Die verstellte Gärtnerin was first performed in Augsburg on 1 May 1780, the 21st performance of the Böhm company’s season. However, the two sources disagree on the works performed over the last five days of the company’s season in Augsburg, 15–19 May 1780. The Theater-Journal (no. 17, 106) gives:
15 May Die verfolgte Unbekannte (= L’incognita perseguitata)
Ballet: Die Schule des Tanzes
16 May Das gute Mädchen ( = La buona figliuola)
17 May Die verstellte Gärtnerin (= La finta giardiniera)
18 May [no performance listed]
19 May Die Kolonie (Sacchini’s L’isola d’amore–La colonie)
A speech by Herr Böhm marking the end of the company’s season
According to Deininger, Rigler’s Verzeichnis gives the program for these days as follows:
15 May Das gute Mädchen (La buona figliuola)
An unnamed ballet
16 May Die schöne Wienerin (a play by Paul Weidmann)
[no ballet listed]
17 May Die Kolonie (Sacchini)
Ballet: Medea und Jason (Noverre)
18 May Die verstellte Gärtnerin (La finta giardiniera)
A “new” ballet
19 May Die verfolgte Unbekannte (L’incognita perseguitata)
“Dedikations-Ballett” and a closing speech by Herr Böhm
Because Rigler was a member of Böhm’s company, his information is probably more reliable. For that reason, it seems more likely that the second performance of Die verstellte Gärtnerin took place on 18 May 1780, rather than 17 May as reported in the Theater-Journal.
Robert Münster discovered a printed libretto for the Augsburg performance of Die verstellte Gärtnerin (Münster 1965), which became source O for the edition of La finta giardiniera in the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe (NMA II/5/8, Kritischer Bericht, 2004). The libretto is in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library), under the shelfmark Slg.Her 595—apparently part of the same collection as the Salzburg scenario for Adelheid von Ponthieu (Slg.Her B 285). The Augsburg libretto of Die verstellte Gärtnerin was published in facsimile in vol. 4 of The Librettos of Mozart’s Operas, edited by Ernest Warburton (Garland, 1992). Like the scenario for Adelheid von Ponthieu, it is now available online as a good color facsimile (BSB; Google Books).
Neither source for the performances of Die verstellte Gärtnerin in Augsburg names Mozart as the composer, but Die verstellte Gärtnerin is listed as one of his works for the German stage in the Theater-Kalender for 1781 (xxxv–xxxvi), the first installment of that almanac to appear after the Augsburg premiere of Die verstellte Gärtnerin in May 1780:
Mozard . . . Kapellmeister zu Salzburg:
Semiramis, musikalisch Drama des Freyh. von
Gemmingen. Die verstellte Gärtnerin, Ope=
Deutsch (Dokumente, 206) includes a later entry from the Theater-Kalender for 1785 that names Die verstellte Gärtnerin among Mozart’s works for the German stage, along with Semiramis and Die Entführung aus dem Serail. But he overlooked this earlier entry in the Theater-Kalender for 1781, the first to mention Die verstellte Gärtnerin. (In 1778 Mozart began to compose a melodrama based on Otto von Gemmingen’s Semiramis, K. 315e = Anh. 11, but it was apparently never completed, and the autograph is lost. The editor of the Theater-Kalender, Heinrich August Ottokar Reichard, continued for several years to list Semiramis among Mozart’s German stage works, suggesting that he sometimes could be less than meticulous in correcting and updating his listings.)
The report on Böhm’s company in number 17 of the Theater-Journal für Deutschland again includes an illuminating overview of the company’s engagement in Augsburg and its reception there, and is worth quoting at length (note, however, that the dates at the beginning of the report are misleading):
Augsburg, den 4. Apr. 1780.
Herr Böhm kam mit seiner Gesellschaft im Jahr 1779
nach Augsburg und blieb bis auf den 20. May. Er hatte
damals ganz außerordentlichen Beyfall; in den schönsten
Sommertagen, wenn auch schon eine Oper, denn diese
führte er meistens auf, zu drittenmal repetirt wurde,
so war das Theater doch schon um 5 Uhr Abends, das ist
eine Stunde vor dem bestimmten Anfang, völlig angefüllt,
und wer Augsburg kennt und weiß, wie sehr bey dem
Höchsten, wie bey dem Geringsten die Liebe zum Spazie=
renfahren und Gehen herrscht, dem wird dieses desto auf=
fallender seyn, destomehr gereicht es aber dem Augsburg=
schen Publiko zum Lobe, daß es aus Liebe zu guter Musik,
seine Lieblingsneigung aufgeopfert. Hr. Böhme gab sich
auch alle Mühe, diesen Beyfall zu verdienen. Mit dem
Singspiel Robert und Kaliste und dem Ballet von No=
verra [sic]: Adelheid von Ponthieu eröfnete er das Theater;
darauf folgten das gute Mädchen und la Frescatana,
diese drey Opern konnten nicht genug repetirt werden;
dazwischen führte er auch Operetten aus dem Französischen
und andere Ballette von Noverra auf. Auf den Winter
mußte er nach Salzburg; inzwischen erhielte er vom
Magistrat zu Augsburg die Erlaubnis, von Ostern 1780.
bis Ostern 1781. hier zu spielen, und da man den ganzen
Winter keine Komödien hatte, so wurde er mit desto
größerer Sehnsucht erwartet, da er denn sogleich den 28.
März 1780. mit dem Trauerspiel Elfriede und dem Ballet
Themire und Thyrsis den Anfang machte. [...]
[The article continues with the company’s program from 28 Mar to 19 May 1780, with a few brief additional comments on visiting performers and the like. The report then continues:]
Aus diesem Verzeichnisse sehen Sie lauter Sing=
spiele, nur zwey Trauerspiele und wenig gute Lustspiele.
Sie würden aber dem augsburgischen Publiko großes Un=
recht thun, wenn Sie davon auf seinen Geschmack schlies=
sen wollten, denn so angenehm ihm auch die Singspiele
sind, so großes Verlangen hat dasselbe auch nach guten
Lust= und Trauerspielen, und es ist auch wirklich dem
Hrn. Böhme, als er Erlaubnis zu spielen bekam, die
Bedingnis gesetzt worden, daß er sich mit guten Akteuren
und Aktrizen zu Komödien versehen sollte. Warum es
noch nicht geschehen, und warum er statt guten Lustspie=
len, schlechte wählt, ist mir unbekannt; die viele leere
Plätze in seinen Lustspielen sollten ihn doch praktisch über=
zeugt haben, wie wenig Gefallen man daran in Augs=
burg habe: mit englischen und hamburgschen Stücken
würde er sein Glück gewiß besser machen.—
Seine Garderobe ist schön, so schön als sie an ei=
nem Hofe immer seyn kann. Die sämmtl. theatralischen
Unkosten belaufen sich wöchentlich auf 410 Gulden, und
jährlich auf 21320 Gulden.
Den 21. May mußte Hr. Böhm mit seiner Gesell=
schaft nach Ulm, von da er vermutlich nach Nürnberg
gehen wird, den Winter aber hindurch wird er sich in
[Theater-Journal für Deutschland, no. 17, 103–7]
Augsburg, 4 Apr 1780
Herr Böhm came to Augsburg with his company in the
year 1779 and stayed until 20 May . He had at
that time an entirely extraordinary reception: on the most
beautiful summer days, even when an opera (for he
performed mostly these) was repeated for the third time,
the theater was already completely full by 5 in the evening,
that is, an hour before the prescribed start, and to
those who know Augsburg and know how greatly the love
of riding and strolling prevails among both the highest
and lowest orders, this will be all the more remarkable; but it
redounds all the more to the favor of the Augsburg public
that it sacrifices its favorite pastime to good music. Herr
Böhm makes every effort to deserve this reception. He opened
the theater with the singspiel Robert und Kalliste and Noverre’s
ballet Adelheid von Ponthieu; this was followed by Das gute
Mädchen and La frascatana. These three operas could not
be given often enough. In between he also performed operettas
from the French and other ballets by Noverre. In the winter he had
to return to Salzburg; in the meantime, he obtained from the
magistrate in Augsburg permission to play here from Easter 1780
to Easter 1781, and because we had no theater here for the entire
winter, all the greater was the desire with which he was awaited, as
he immediately began on 28 Mar 1780 with the tragedy
Elfriede and the ballet Themire und Thyrsis [...]
On this list you see mainly singspiels, only two
tragedies and few good comedies. However, you would
do the Augsburg public a great injustice if you were to
infer its taste from this; for as pleasant as it finds these
singspiels, it also has a great craving for good comedies
and tragedies, and in fact a condition was placed on Herr
Böhm, when he sought permission to perform, that he
should provide good actors and actresses for the plays. Why
this has not yet happened is unknown to me: the many empty
seats at his comedies should effectively have convinced him
how little these pleased in Augsburg: he would have better
luck with plays from England and Hamburg.
His costumes are beautiful, as beautiful as they could ever
be at any court. The complete theatrical expenses run to
410 gulden weekly, and 21320 gulden yearly.
On 21 May Herr Böhm and his company had to leave
for Ulm; from there he probably will go on to Nuremberg, but
will spend the winter in Augsburg.
The dates at the beginning of this report are misleading, as they imply that Böhm came to Augsburg in 1779 and remained until 20 May 1779 (as one might initially read it) or 20 May 1780, implying that he remained in Augsburg for the entire period. However, the report later clarifies (correctly) that Böhm’s company had spent the winter of 1779–80 in Salzburg. (The dateline at the head of the report, 4 Apr 1780, obviously cannot be literally true, given that it lists Böhm’s program through 19 May 1780 and mentions his departure for Ulm on 21 May.) The details of the company’s first season in Augsburg are correct: Böhm opened with Robert und Kalliste and the ballet Adelheid von Ponthieu on 11 Jun 1779; Robert und Kalliste, Die gute Mädchen, and La frascatana (all translations of Italian opere buffe) were all repeated (five, three, and three times, respectively). The report thus supports the hypothesis that Böhm’s Italian-derived singspiels had been a particular hit with the Augsburg public, and that their good reception may have persuaded him to bolster his repertory in that genre, which in turn may have been the motivation behind his request for a translation and adaptation of Mozart’s La finta giardiniera.
During the company’s second engagement in Augsburg, it gave 34 performances of 33 different pieces. There were two double bills, and only three of the main works were repeated, all singspiels: Die beiden Geizigen (from Les deux avares, with music by Grétry, on 6 and 21 Apr); Das Fischermädchen (from Piccinni’s La pescatrice, on 13 and 18 Apr), and Mozart’s Die verstellte Gärtnerin (on 1 and mostly likely 18 May). All but one of the company’s performances during this engagement included a ballet (the exception is Möller’s tragedy Graf von Waltron). The marked increase in the size of Böhm’s company between 1779 and 1780, as reported in the rosters in the Theater-Kalender for 1780 and 1781, suggests that he did attempt to abide by the condition set by the Augsburg authorities that he provide better actors and actresses for the spoken plays. Die Belustigung im Garten Cythere, the ballet given with Die verstellte Gärtnerin on 1 May 1780 had also been performed by the company on 4 Apr. Its creator is unknown, but again, Böhm’s ballet master Elias Vogt or his brother Peter are likely candidates.
Böhm in Ulm, Nuremberg, and Frankfurt (1780)(⇧)
Böhm’s company did indeed go to Ulm after leaving Augsburg, just as the report states. A complete set of posters from their engagement in Ulm survives in the city’s archive (Stadtarchiv Ulm, G 3 1670 - 1899 Theaterzettel 1670 - 1899). The company gave 19 performances in Ulm across a span of 25 days; it performed every weekday, but never on Saturday or Sunday, probably because of local restrictions. Ten plays were given and nine singspiels; no work was repeated. Eight of the works performed in Ulm appear to have been new additions to the company’s repertory: they had not been performed during either of the company’s seasons in Augsburg and are not known to have been performed during either of its seasons in Salzburg. These new works included three plays, three ballets, and two singspiels (Der Hufschmied, oder Ich bin ein Doktor und kann nicht schreiben on 31 May, and Die Insel der gesunden Vernunft on 8 Jun). Die verstellte Gärtnerin was not given in Ulm; of the “Italian” singspiels in the company’s repertory at that time, it performed Robert und Kalliste on 25 May, Das gute Mädchen on 29 May, Die verfolgte Unbekannte on 5 Jun, and La frascatana on 16 Jun. While still in Augsburg, Böhm had, on 17 May 1780, been granted permission by the authorities in Nuremberg (Nürnberg) to perform there (see Hampe 1899, 221, entry 848), and his company began an engagement in that city on 29 Jun 1780 (Mayer 1843, 36; Hysel 1863, 57–58), which seems to have lasted into Sep 1780, although the exact ending date is unclear (Mayer and Hysel both give 28 Sep, but this conflicts with the beginning of Böhm’s next engagement, in Frankfurt). Böhm’s company had its first engagement in Frankfurt from 18 Sep to 28 Nov 1780; the complete program for Frankfurt can be reconstructed from Böhm’s announcements in the Frankfurter Staats-Ristretto (see Mentzel 1882, 532–35); Die verstellte Gärtnerin was not performed. The subsequent history of Böhm’s company and its later performances of the German version of La finta giardiniera, as well as its performances of other works by Mozart, is taken up in the commentary for 2 Apr 1782.
The variety and quick turnover of the Böhm company’s repertory is extraordinary: between 11 Jun 1779, its first performance in Augsburg, and 16 Jun 1780, its final performance in Ulm, it performed at least 84 different works (and it must be kept in mind that we have information about only nine of at least 80 performances by the company during its second engagement in Salzburg). The company performed at least 33 different plays, 26 singspiels, and 25 named ballets (no title is given in the documentary sources for several other ballets). Main pieces were rarely repeated during an engagement, and those that were repeated were mainly popular singspiels. When the Böhm company returned to Augsburg for its second season beginning 28 Mar 1780, 24 of the 33 main pieces had not been performed during its previous engagement there. The feats of memory required of the actors strike a modern observer as extraordinary. The rapidity with which they learned new repertory is also astonishing: during the company’s first season in Frankfurt beginning in Sep 1780, nearly all of the works performed are not known to have been performed during the company’s engagements in Salzburg, Augsburg, or Ulm.
Böhm and Mozart(⇧)
Mozart subsequently mentions Böhm in two letters to his cousin Maria Anna Thekla Mozart (“Bäsle”) in Augsburg. One is dated 24 Apr 1780, just under two months after Böhm departed Salzburg and one month into the company’s second engagement in Augsburg. Mozart dates the other letter “Salsbourg den 10ten May 1709ni” (according to the transcription in Briefe, ii:547). An editorial note to the transcription interprets this to mean 10 May 1779, but the commentary to the same letter (Briefe v:586) argues, surely correctly, that the letter should be dated to 10 May 1780. It therefore follows the letter of 24 Apr.
In his letter to Bäsle on 24 Apr 1780 letter Mozart writes:
Es sind nun 14 Täge daß ich Mr Böhm geantwortet habe—Mir liegt nur daran zu wissen daß mein Schreiben nicht zu Verlust gegangen, welches mir sehr leid wäre—denn, sonst weis ich nur zu gut, daß M.r Böhm alle täge nur zu sehr occupirt ist—dem seye wie ihm wolle, so bitte ich Sie in Jedem fall, mein lieber knall, Tausend komplimenten zu machen,—und ich warte nur auf einen Wink von ihm, so ist die Aria aldort fertig—
[This transcription is taken from Briefe, Nachträge, iv: 535.]
It has been 14 days now since I answered Monsieur Böhm. So I’d just like to know that my letter has not gone missing, which would make me very unhappy—for I am only too well aware that Monsieur Böhm is all too busy every day—however it may be with him, I’m asking you in any case my dear clang to give him a thousand compliments—and I await only a nod from him, and the aria will be there, finished.
In a postscript to his letter to Bäsle on 10 May 1780, Mozart again refers to Böhm:
P:S: Ist die Böhmsche trup schon weck—sagen sie mirs, meine Beste, ich bitte um Himmelswillen! — — — Sie wird nun in ulm seyn, nicht wahr?
P. S. Is the Böhm troupe already gone?—Tell me, my dear, for heaven’s sake! — — — They will now be in Ulm, no?
This fits with the known chronology of Böhm’s company. They gave the final performance of their second season in Augsburg on 19 May 1780, and thus had not yet left the city when Mozart was writing, but they were about to. And their next engagement was indeed in Ulm, where they gave their first performance on 23 May. Mozart’s letter of 24 Apr 1780 suggests that he had promised to write or adapt an aria for Böhm, but no such aria is known to survive.
In a letter to his father written from Munich on 10 and 11 Jan 1781, Mozart passes along the latest gossip about various members of Böhm’s troupe:
Nun, ich weis nichts neues ihnen zu schreiben—als daß ich, durch den buckelichen brudern von der Mad:me zimerl |: Berühmten fleckausbringer :| welcher mit der Mad: ludwig von Salzburg hier ist, und zusammen wie Man und frau leben, gehört habe, und zwar für gewis: —daß die storchenfelds: von Böhm weg sind—Murschhauser auch; —der Peter Vogt schon lange weg—und der Elias—seine frau wirklich sitzen lassen, und durchgegangen ist.—das Böhm in Mainz ist—daß die Zimmerlischen und Müllerischen auch von ihn weg waren, aber so bald er Mainz hatte, wieder zu ihm gegangen sind.—wenn ich Zeit hätte, hätte ich ihm schon längst zugeschrieben nur um etwas Neues zu hören. [Briefe, iii:86]
Now, I don’t have anything new to write to you—except that I have heard, and indeed as fact, from the hunchbacked brother of Madame Zimmerl (the famous spot-remover) who is here with Madame Ludwig of Salzburg, and living together as man and wife: — that the Storchenfelds have left Böhm—Murschhauser too;—Peter Vogt is long gone—and Elias—has left his wife behind and run off—that Böhm is in Mainz—that the Zimmerls and Müllers had also left him, but came back as soon as he had Mainz. — If I had time, I would have written to him long ago, if only to hear some news.
The Herr and Madame Storchinfeld are listed as dancers in the roster for Böhm’s company in the Theater-Kalender for 1781 (cxxxxvi, referring to 1780). In a letter to Nannerl of 15 Dec 1781, Mozart writes: “der Elias vogt ist beym Böhm, und der Peterl ist in Berlin” (“Elias is with Böhm, and Peterl is in Berlin”). That Mozart uses the diminutive “Peterl” for Peter Vogt suggests that the Mozarts had developed a close friendship with him in Salzburg. The subsequent careers of Elias and Peter Vogt are discussed in the commentary to the entry for 2 Apr 1782.
It has often been said that Mozart’s music for Gebler’s Thamos, König in Aegypten (K. 345/336a) in its revised and complete form—namely the revised versions of the two choruses that Mozart had first written for performances of the play in Vienna in 1774, along with a newly added closing chorus setting a text perhaps written by Andreas Schachtner and instrumental music for the entr’actes—was finished in 1779 for the use of Böhm’s troupe. This theory is promoted, for example, by Alfred Einstein in the third edition of the Köchel catalog, in Harald Heckmann’s edition of the music for the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe (II/6/1, preface, vii), and Dokumente (130). However, there is no known evidence that Böhm’s company ever performed Thamos, in Salzburg or anywhere else. All three paper-types in Mozart’s autograph of the Thamos music (Tyson 36, 40, and 41) are consistent with a date of 1775–1776. Karl Wahr’s theatrical company was in Salzburg in late 1775 and early 1776, and is known to have performed Thamos there on 3 Jan 1776 (see the review in the Theaterwochenblatt für Salzburg, no. 18, 17 Jan 1776, 209–10, where the music is said to have been too long, and perhaps unnecessary). It seems certain, then, that Mozart made the revisions and additions to the Thamos music for Wahr, and that these had nothing to do with Böhm. (For a more detailed discussion of this question, see Zaslaw 2007, 56–59.) Böhm’s later use of the Thamos music in performances of Karl Martin Plümicke’s Lanassa, apparently with Mozart’s symphony K. 184 as an overture, is discussed in the commentary to 2 Apr 1782.
Mozart’s uncompleted singspiel Zaide (K. 344) has sometimes been said to have been composed with Böhm’s company in mind. The paper-types of the autograph (Tyson 51-I and 52) are consistent with a dating to 1779/80, but there is no additional documentary evidence to support a connection with Böhm.