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3 - Emanuel Schikaneder and the Theater auf der Wieden

from Part I - Conception and Context

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 November 2023

Jessica Waldoff
Affiliation:
College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts
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Summary

The Magic Flute was written specifically for the Freihaus Theater auf der Wieden. As such, it is useful to consider the physical aspects and the history of the building as well as some of the other repertory that was performed there around the same time. When we include works that were performed in the Theater in der Leopoldstadt under the direction of Karl Marinelli – Schikaneder’s main rival – we can see that they share some musical and theatrical aspects of The Magic Flute. Plot lines or character types that found favor with audiences were reproduced in various works at both suburban theaters, allowing a faster creative process and resulting in a somewhat formulaic product. This adds to the notion that while The Magic Flute is certainly an exceptional work, it was, nevertheless, significantly influenced by the popular entertainment common in Viennese theaters of the eighteenth century.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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