The National Theater has welcome additions
in the persons of Herr Baumann and Demoiselle
Aichinger, who are better than average. The
opera made from Le nozze di Figaro by Herr
Mozart pleased only by half, and connoisseurs have
pointed out various things that the skillful
composer has undertaken to improve.
This is one of four early newspaper reports on the premiere of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, which had its premiere in Vienna on 1 May 1786. For the general background on the earliest reports and reviews of the opera, see the commentary to 3 May 1786.
This report from the Bayreuther Zeitung is of special interest because it states that the composer made changes in response to the suggestions from “Kenner” (connoisseurs). The original orchestral parts and the Viennese court theater's working score of the opera from 1786 do indeed show significant revisions dating to the time of the first production (see Edge 2001, esp. 1544–1668); whether these revisions were made in response to criticisms or suggestions remains a topic for further investigation.
This report was also published in the Prager Oberpostamtszeitung on 30 May 1786 under the dateline “Aus Österreich vom 20 May” (Neue Folge, 47).
“Demoiselle Aichinger” was Elisabeth Aichinger, a member of the company of the court theater in Vienna from 1786 until her premature death in 1789 (von Alth & Obzyna 1979, ii:209). The identity of “Herr Baumann” is uncertain; no actor named Baumann is known to have appeared in any performance given by the court theater at this time. Friedrich Baumann and his brother Anton both joined the company of the Theater in der Leopoldstadt in 1786, so perhaps the correspondent to the Bayreuther Zeitung mistakenly thought that one of them had joined the company of the court theater. Friedrich eventually did join the court theater in 1795.
Alth, Minna von, and Gertrude Obzyna. . Burgtheater 1776–1976. Aufführungen und Besetzungen von zweihundert Jahren. 2 vol. Vienna: Ueberreuter.
Edge , Dexter. 2001. “Mozart’s Viennese Copyists.” Ph.D diss., University of Southern California. [academia.edu]
————. 2007. “Musicological Introduction.” Le nozze di Figaro, K. 492. Facsimile of the Autograph Score. Los Altos, California, The Packard Humanities Institute. 2007. [academia.edu]
Search Term: mozzart
BSB, 4 Eph.pol. 56-1786
First Published: Thu, 12 Jun 2014
Updated: Tue, 22 Oct 2019
Edge, Dexter. 2014. “On the reception of Le nozze di Figaro in Vienna (addendum) (16 May 1786).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 12 June 2014; updated 22 October 2019. https://www.mozartdocuments.org/documents/16-may-1786/
Edge, Dexter. 2014. “On the reception of Le nozze di Figaro in Vienna (addendum) (16 May 1786).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 12 June 2014; updated 22 October 2019. [direct link]