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2 - The Magic Flute’s Libretto and German Enlightenment Theater Reform

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

This chapter focuses on The Magic Flute’s links to theatrical aesthetics of the Vienna court theater as well as debates surrounding the late eighteenth-century calls for the establishment of a German national theater tradition. This exploration suggests that Mozart’s unique experiences with the world of late eighteenth-century German theater traditions shaped The Magic Flute’s libretto significantly. Mozart’s contributions to Schikaneder’s libretto in fact enhance the work’s status as both a culmination of decades-long debates about German national theater and a harbinger of a future course for German national opera.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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