by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
& Christoph Willibald Gluck
Monday, June 22, 2015 at 7:00PM
Performed in German & English
Marc A. Scorca Hall
NATIONAL OPERA CENTER
330 Seventh Avenue, 7th floor
New York City
Gottlieb Stephanie, who had previously collaborated with Mozart in Entführung aus dem Serail, portrays the misadventures of the entrepreneur Frank who must put together a company of actors and singers while dealing with their whims, rivalries and pretensions of exorbitant remuneration. The economic problems are resolved thanks to banker Eiler’s intervention in exchange for Frank pretending to engage his lover, Madams Pfeil. The musical passages are in the second part of the job, when Frank begins the auditions of the singers. Madams Herz sings an air ranging from an initially pathetic and sentimental character to a bright conclusion, rich in virtuosities. The following air tests Mlle Silberklang. In the trio “Ich bin die erste Sängerin” the two ambitious singers confront him on who the prima donna will be, while Monsieur Vogelsang attempts to reconcile matters. The singers determine that art can thrive with all the personal ambition only through the peaceable cooperation of all their strengths.
Der betrogene Kadi is Gluck's Le Kadi dupe in a German version. A Kadi is a Moslem judge with biggish powers. This example, tired of his wife
Fatime, plans to divorce her and marry the young Zelmire. Though he has never set eyes on her, he has heard of her beauty (in the Kadi's world decision are based less on personal experience than on hearsay). Zelmire declines the offer. To revenge himself the Kadi now decides to marry her off to
Nuradin, whom he wrongly believes to be impoverished. In reality, Nuradin is Zelmire's lover. Seeking revenge in her turn, Zelmire arranges for the Kadi to plight himself to Omega, daughter of the dyer Omar. Reputedly beautiful, Omega is ugly and misshapen. When he sees her the
Kadi, humiliated, sees no alternative but to return to Fatime.