The prolific and opinionated Heinrich Wilhelm Seyfried (1755–1800) was an actor, playwright, and critic in Berlin and Braunschweig (for more information on Seyfried and his criticism on Mozart’s operas in his periodical Chronic von Berlin, see the entry for 16 Oct 1788). The unusual title of this work—Schröder und Fleck. Ein Duodrama. Vorgestellt auf dem grossen Schauplatze der Welt. Mit musicalischer Volksbegleitung. Solo accompagnirt von Heinrich Wilhelm Seyfried—is a reference to Friedrich Ludwig Schröder (1744–1816) and Johann Friedrich Ferdinand Fleck (1757–1801), two leading actors and directors in German theater (on Schröder, see also the entry for 1 May 1780).
The majority of this “duodrama” (5–82) is a rather rambling account of Schröder’s life and career with extended digressions; Fleck then receives the same treatment (82–126). Just before this passage, Seyfried cites a long list of German playwrights, who through their writings make possible the emergence of the most excellent composers. Seyfried then mentions a number of settings, including Benda’s Ariadne, Gluck’s Orfeo (favorably compared with Bertoni’s setting), Holzbauer’s Günther von Schwarzburg, and Schweizer’s Alceste. The final paragraph of this discussion is quoted above, where other composers are mentioned in passing, including Mozart.