Mozartian Chamber Treats
This dessert consists of three courses. Mozart’s one-act theatre parody, Der Schauspieldirektor, shows how the life of a theatre director is certainly not an easy one when several singers are vying for the prima donna spot. The second piece, about the wives of King Henry VIII, a monarch who was liberal in dispensing both kisses and death, is a production that employs text by Shakespeare and music by the king himself, and not without a bit of black humour, either. And finally: The Telephone. A boy wants to confess his love to a girl, except the girl is next to the telephone, and any time it rings, she has to pick it up. Through a charming opera from the 1970s, the audience will get to see a problem that has since grown to serious proportions.
The Wives of Henry VIII
THE CRITICS RESPOND:
Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario)
The singers are trampling over each other for positions in the company and attempting to squeeze as much cash as they can out of the director, who is (naturally) in a financial pickle and wondering what to perform at the theatre: “Put your hand on your heart: is it not true that the worst pieces bring us the most money, and masterpieces leave the auditorium empty?” A “patron” of Madame Silberklang promises to furnish the director with funds if he signs his favourite singer. The ladies indulge in a “singing competition”, with each of them delivering a bravura aria to show off their vocal virtuosity, and while both sing about serious subjects, each attempts to “out-sing” their rival. Then, in a trio, they hysterically try to surpass each other’s coloratura’s in order to prove which of them is the prima donna.