St Petersburg, Concert Hall


Philipp Yevich
Denis Begansky
Larisa Yudina
Antonina Vesenina
Dmitry Voropaev

The Mariinsky Orchestra
Conductor: Anton Gakkel

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
“Der Schauspieldirektor”
Komödie mit Musik in one act
Libretto by Johann Gottlieb Stephanie (Author of the Russian dialogue text: Gleb Cherepanov)
Musical Director: Larisa Gergieva

Symphony No. 38 in D major, KV 504 (“Prague”)

About the Concert

The public have always wanted to know what happens on "the other side of the curtain", and they are particularly drawn by theatre rumours, scandals and intrigues. It was just the same two and three centuries ago. In 1786 the Austrian Emperor Josef II organised a competition between Mozart and Salieri, commissioning both to compose one-act operas based on backstage plots. At the time, Salieri was the vinner, but the judge of time – rightly or wrongly – awarded victory to Mozart.

Mozart's singspiel Der Schauspieldirektor, which was presented at that competition, was composed to an ageless plot: the impressario (or producer as one would say today) Frank is running an audition for his new company. Each female singer wants to be the prima donna and the men all want to be the male lead, and to achieve this aim and receive a mighty fee they are ready to undertake anything. Of course, in the finale friendship prevails.

In a singspiel the cast not only sings, but speaks too, and so the peripeteia of the plot are comprehensible even to an inexperienced observer. Competing with each other, the singers perform the greatest arias in their repertoires, which means that popular operatic pieces are included in the production. And the fact that the plot unfolds on a theatre stage during rehearsals allows the cast to play out this story using any theatre sets, including those of the production being performed in the evening.

Thanks to its short duration, vivid plot intrigue and virtuoso arias bordering on vocal trick, this opera may be an ideal choice for a first visit to the Mariinsky Theatre.

Age category 6+

Any use or copying of site materials, design elements or layout is forbidden without the permission of the rightholder.

The highlighting of performances by age represents recommendations.

This highlighting is being used in accordance with Federal Law N139-FZ dated 28 July 2012 “On the introduction of changes to the Federal Law ‘On the protection of children from information that may be harmful to their health and development’ and other legislative acts of the Russian Federation.”