The earliest known performance of Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Regensburg—home of the court of Fürst Carl Anselm von Thurn und Taxis and the “immerwährender Reichstag” of the Holy Roman Empire—was given by a German theater company under the leadership of Emanuel Schikaneder on 20 Jul 1787 (see our entries for that date and for 11 Jun 1787). The company performed the opera six more times in Regensburg before the end of 1787, and three times the following year (see the Notes below).
Schikaneder left Regensburg in 1789, recommending the actor Johann Jakob Rechenmacher to succeed him as director of the company (Komorzynski 1951, 128–29; Knedlik 2001, 109). Following Rechenmacher’s death on 4 Sep 1790, direction was taken over by his widow Elisabeth (ThK 1791, 231). A long entry on the Regensburg company in the Theater-Kalender for 1791 (based on information from 1790) contains much information about its repertory under the Rechenmachers in 1790, but few specific dates. However, it is clear that Die Entführung aus dem Serail was performed at some point after 26 Apr that year, when the theater reopened following a two-month closure on the death of Emperor Joseph II. The opera must have been performed at least twice in Regensburg during 1790, because each of the roles of Constanze, Blonde, and Osmin are said in the Theater-Kalender to have been taken by two different performers (ThK 1791, 231ff). In the list of works performed after 26 Apr, the correspondent to the Theater-Kalender writes: “Die Entführung aus dem Serail Oper gefiel” (ThK 1791, 234). “Die Entführung aus dem Serail, opera, pleased”). Entführung had also been performed privately in the summer of 1791 at the summer residence of the Thurn und Taxis court in Dischingen (see our entry for that performance).
Two additional performances of the opera were announced in the Regensburgisches Diarium in 1791. The first announcement, for a performance on 2 Dec, is transcribed above. This performance is listed in Meixner’s theatrical calendar (Meixner 2008, 546) on the basis of the report in the Diarium; the announcement is transcribed by Haberl (2012, 288). The same newspaper announced a performance of Die Entführung aus dem Serail on 9 Dec 1791.
Although brief, the announcement of the performance on 2 Dec 1791 is notable for its two positive adjectives: “das vortrefliche Singspiel” (“the excellent Singspiel”) and “von dem beliebten Hrn. Mozard” (“by the popular Herr Mozart”), and for the remark that the opera was being given “auf hohes Begehren” (“by high demand”). The two performances bracketed Mozart’s death on 5 Dec 1791.