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23.01.2019 | 19:00 | Theater An Der Wien
Opera comique in two acts (1802)
Music by Carl Maria von Weber
Libretto based on the novel Peter Schmoll und seine Nachbarn by Carl Gottlob Cramer
Additional lyrics by Willy Werner Göttig
Opera in concert in German
Carl Maria von Weber was just 15 years old when he wrote the comic opera Peter Schmoll. Weber`s father, a failed theater entrepreneur and bandmaster, wanted to build his gifted son as the second little Mozart and drove him to work - also to provide for the family. Joseph Haydn`s brother Michael was a temporary teacher of the boy and judged the small opera positively: `... I can attest that this opera worked manly and after the true rules of counterpoint, with much fire and delicacy, and composed the lyrics quite appropriately by him The story comes from the then successful, humorous novel Peter Schmoll and his neighbors Carl Gottlob Cramer. The title hero is a lousy businessman, whom the turmoil of the French Revolution and his niece have lost to Germany, where he lives in a lonely castle. All his acquaintances seem scattered, he does not want new ones, he does not even come out the door and his niece Minette, whom he would like to marry, certainly does not let him out. Minette now wants to marry neither the esteemed uncle, nor savor in this castle. She finds ways and means to reunite with her true lover Karl, who accidentally passes by in the area, and also to get the uncle out of the self-chosen isolation and - despite denied marriage - to help him to a better mood. Amazingly, all the friends left behind in France have just fled to the nest below the castle, the community is reunited happily. Weber`s burgeoning talent is less apparent here in the dramatic arrangement or the musical form - in which he, however, already made ambitious attempts - but rather in an original instrumentation: he experiments with rather uncommon recorders, basset horns, piccolo solos and solo trombones. Perhaps even in the playful invention of catchy song passages even the later master of the Freischütz, the Oberon and the Euryanthe can be guessed.