Theater Krefeld shows Singspiel with unknown songs by Mozart

Theater Krefeld
The unknown wild world of Mozart

Opera director Francois de Carpentries unearthed compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart that were almost never played for “Welttheater Mozart” and combined them into a baroque-modern singspiel.

Do Mozart like nobody knows him. Two young singers, two singers, an eleven-piece orchestra are available – and the corona conditions apply: It was an assignment that Francois De Carpentries loves. Together with the costume designer Karine Van Hercke, the French director went deep into the unknown areas of Mozart’s cosmos in order to build the “World Theater Mozart” from material that was almost never played, which will premiere in Krefeld on Thursday, November 11th.

It was a challenge. “You know all of Mozart’s great compositions, but he also wrote numerous drinking songs and canons as well as substitute arias,” explains De Carpentries. It was quite possible that the singing stars of that time did not feel that they were staged in the operas in a glamorous enough way and then asked composers who were friends for such interludes or substitute arias. Mozart performed such friendship services for soloists, but also for ensembles of two and three. “But it was difficult to find the scores,” says De Carpentries, a Mozart expert. He scoured the archives. Often only figured bass and vocal notes have survived. “That was then arranged by other composers in the spirit of Mozart.”

This task was taken over by the pianist and conductor Avishay Shalom for “Welttheater Mozart”. “I’ve looked at a lot of Mozart scores to see how he does it. In the canon, for example, there are only singing parts, so I had to orchestrate completely. It was exciting to discuss what the songs mean. ”That wasn’t always clear, sometimes Mozart used the secret language he shared with his wife Constanze. Some arias are in Austrian dialect, in bad Italian or in nonsense language. The drinking songs are wild and hearty, that is what Mozart was known for. Sometimes poetic too. You will always recognize Mozart, but often with new facets. “The great compositions by Mozart were commissioned work. That’s how he earned his living. That’s why he wasn’t free, ”says the director. In the smaller compositions, Mozart didn’t have to please any gentleman. But often you can already feel the Magic Flute, Figaro or Idomeneo.

De Carpentries integrates Mozart into a world that is supposed to be baroque on the one hand (“This period influenced his work”) and modern on the other. He tells of the deities Bellezza (beauty), Fortuna (happiness), Amor (love) and Spirito (science) who come to earth in clouds to save people after a pandemic. Because they don’t meet anyone, they occupy themselves with each other. They argue, turtle, live out their vanities. It’s the eternal game: Fortuna loves Spirito, but he wants to seduce Bellezza and doesn’t know how, so Amor should help him. When it comes to style, De Carpentries refers to Emanuel Schikaneder, who wrote the libretto for “The Magic Flute”.

Karine Van Hercke has designed colorful, baroque costumes that are intended to emphasize the colorful, lively play. “We tell the piece in a baroque style, but with a modern attitude,” emphasizes the director.

It is not an opera, but a 90-minute singspiel for the opera studio. Maya Blaustein, Boshana Milkov, Robin Grundwald and Guillem Batllori form the divine quartet.




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