Divadelní revue (Czech Theatre Review) 2015 · no 2

vol. 26 · October 2015 · no 2


Summary of issue 2/2015 (working on)

Resumes of peer-reviewed articles

Margita Havlíčková: Competition for the Municipal Opera Theatre in Brno in 1736. The essay examines archival resources stored at the Moravian Museum which, among others, contain records that describe seemingly ordinary troubles of ambulatory theatrical companies of the late baroque period. However ordinary, these troubles represented a substantial part of an everyday life of comedians: successful theatre business and individual careers of artists were heavily dependent on managing the troubles. The essay focuses on the events that occurred in Brno in 1736 when three principals applied for the lease of municipal opera theatre: Felix Kurz, Franz Bentsch and Filippo Neri del Fantasia. Nonetheless, the complicated story unfolded not only in Brno but also in Wroclaw and Olomouc, and – besides the above-mentioned directors – it attracted a number of other individuals. The reconstruction of events enabled the correspondence of comedians with institutions, which granted concessions and defined terms under which theatre productions could be organized. The essay explores these institutional records, as well as a valuable private correspondence.

Ludmila Sochorová: “Hey, Arise, Czech Minerva…” From Lives of Forgotten Playwrights and Actors of Patriotic Theatre. The paper elaborates on the well-known Václav Thám’s letter to Josef Valentin Zlobický from 20th December, 1787, which was attached with a list of new Czech plays produced at the Patriotic Theatre. Apart from that, the author examines archival resources and seeks to identify and, if possible, characterize occasional playwrights who were produced here. These young people – predominantly university students of Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague, who after 1785 when under the reign of Joseph II the curricula in Czech language were cancelled – felt a need to overly manifest their Enlightenment ideals and national identity.

Alena Jakubcová — Hubert Reitterer: Terminal Station Košice: The Principle Václav Mihule’s Last Stint. The former municipal theatre in Košice was between 1804–1807 the last known stop on the life journey of theatre principal and Prague native Václav Mihule (1758– after 1808). In this period, the independent royal city rose to fame as a thriving centre of Upper Hungary. Here Mihule – at the new building attached to the dance hall and café – successfully ran his business. Fatal for him, however, was February 1807 when Mihule was – probably unjustly – charged with blasphemy and sentenced to death. The paper describes the trial while using the documents stored at the Municipal Archive of the City of Košice. The attachment presents the translation of Mihule’s letter addressed to Franz I in which he begs for mercy. The letter describes separate stages of the trial whose result remains unknown.

Markéta Trávníčková — Jan Zimmer: The Mystery of Fidlovačka Songs at the Theatre Department of National Museum. Collections of the Theatre Department of National Museum contain a notebook with a record of songs “Staří Pražané” (Old Prague Citizens) and “Kde domov můj” (Where is My Home; including the third unknown stanza). The notebook was acquired in 1927 and until 2015 it was considered Josef Kajetán Tyl and František Škroup’s autograph. The suspicion, which was based on the comparison of Tyl’s manuscript of Fidlovačka stored at the Archive of the City of Pilsen, was confirmed by the forensic analysis of handwriting conducted by the Czech Society for Forensic Handwriting: whereas the writer of the score was probably František Škroup, the lyrics were certainly not written by Josef Kajetán Tyl.

Jitka Ludvová: Bernhard Gutt and his Portrait. Museum of the Capital City of Prague preserves an anonymous oil painting (call # H 37 360), a portrait of young man registered as a „portrayal of Anton Müller (1843–1928), the first editor of Prague-German newspaper Bohemia, between years 1870–80”. According to the museum records, the portrait was acquired in 1939. The paper argues that the person on the portrait is in fact Bernhard Gutt (1812 Potsdam – 1849 Prague), Prague musical and theatre reviewer of Bohemia. The author of the portrait is most likely a German painter Engelbert Seibertz who resided in Prague between 1842–1848, actively participated in theatre life, and certainly knew Gutt. The portrait, which was placed in the chief editor’s office of Bohemia since 1880s, is the only extant item of the Prague newspaper which ceased to exist in 1938.

Věra Velemanová: Martin Neureutter Jr. Known and Unknown. The famous Prague publisher Martin Neureutter jr. (1794–1864) ran – following his father – one of the first Czech publishing houses that published Czech theatre literature, namely Czech plays. He also sought to publish a patriotic pre-Slavonic almanac. His endeavours were, however, cut short with a dramatic onset of his mental illness. He was also an educated painter, a student of landscape painting school of Karl Postl of the Prague Academy of Visual Arts. Some of his works are present in the collections of National Gallery or in the Museum of the Capital City of Prague. The essay, which elaborates on the entry written for one of the volumes of Czech Theatre Encyclopaedia, reflects Martin Neureutter jr. as a man of two professions, of which the more important one – in terms of the development of Czech culture – was that he took up as a must and burden – a profession of publisher.

Bärbel Rudin: From Baden to Czech Lands and Back. New Discoveries About Early German Reception of Molière. The paper examines as-yet disregarded manuscripts of two 17th century German translations of Molière’s plays preserved in Karlsruhe. The first manuscript from around 1670, translated for the company of comedians hired by the court of Baden-Baden margraves, is close to the original, abounds with linguistic ingenuity and accentuated use of Alemannic dialect. The text was also staged at the Eggenberg court theatre in Český Krumlov whose foundation was connected with several actors of the above-mentioned company. The other manuscript is significantly different. The translator was a renowned actor performing the character of Pickelhering. The script was dedicated in 1688 at the Zákupy castle to the Princess Lobkowitz, née margrave from Baden-Baden. According to his comments, the translator intended to change “national” nature of characters so that they would correspond with the German speaking milieu. Of considerable value is also a copy of the script preserved in Vienna. The copy is a surviving document of period distribution network of theatre texts. The manuscript from Zákupy became a part of margrave archive either as a gift or Princess Lobkowitz’ inheritance.

Andrea Sommer-Mathis: The beginnings of the Viennese Kärntnertortheater between German impromptu comedy and Italian opera. The article presents some of the results of a research project into the history of the Kärntnertortheater, the first public theatre in Vienna established in 1708. During the first half of the 18th century the repertoire of the Kärntnertortheater was variegated and comprised not only of German impromptu comedies, opera parodies (Musica bernesca) and short comic intermezzi, but, from 1728 onwards, also Italian operas with a wide range of topics. The introduction of the drammi per musica, which until then had been staged only at court, in a commercial theatre, can be attributed to two former court artists, the tenor Francesco Borosini and the dancer Joseph Carl Selliers, who intended to advertise the genre among the Viennese population. They profited from their artistic contacts, especially with Italy, and were thus able to present the latest opera productions, sometimes disguised as pasticci or musical intermezzi to evade the exclusive opera privilege held by another person.

Matthias J. Pernerstorfer. Heckentheater in Imperial Gardens, Aristocratic Garden Palaces, and Country Estates (1683–1740). After the second Turkish siege of Vienna (1683), numerous aristocratic palaces with gardens were built. As far as known hedge theatres were not planted in these newly created cultural spaces. Apart from garden architectural fashions, the geographical location and the intended use of the garden palaces as well as social status and economic situation of the builder played a crucial role. A description of the imperial gardens, the aristocratic garden palaces and the country estates shows, that hedge theatres were not among the major representative elements of a summer palace. The costs were too high and unlike the country seats, where guests also stayed, the need to offer guests an extensive entertainment program, was not given.

David Buch: Emanuel Schikaneder as Theater Composer, or Who Wrote Papageno’s Melodies in Die Zauberflöte? This article will show the results of analysis of previously neglected primary sources, particularly composer autograph scores for operas commissioned at Emanuel Schikaneder’s Theater auf der Wieden in the 1790s. The analysis reveals evidence of musical collaboration by composers at the theater, and it supports reports of Schikaneder’s musical contributions to scores for his librettos, particularly Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. The question of whether Schikaneder’s musical ideas were original or derived from the music of others is another matter. He certainly recycled his own work and Leopold Mozart observed that he freely borrowed the work of others.

Comoedia Der Baron Wurstelsprung
ein Zum Edelmann gewordener

supplement of Divadelní revue 26, 2015 · n° 2

Der Baron Wurstelsprung. Contextualization, Analysis and Edition of Český Krumlov Hanswurst Burlesque. The Hanswurst burlesques of Český Krumlov are an untapped treasure for the exploration of improvisational theatre. In the 1740s the burlesques were recorded for performances at the Český Krumlov castle. The extant texts shed an instructive light on the most popular German-speaking theatre of the time—Vienna’s Kärntnertortheater with its stars ‘Hanswurst’ Prehauser, ‘Bernardon’ Kurz or ‘Colombina’ Nuth. Up until today, we could only speculate about the qualities of celebrated impromptu play. Nowadays, the manuscripts—originally written for the aristocratic amateur theatre—allow us to examine the most important stage conventions: the specific use of language varieties, combination of action schemes, differentiation of traditional comic characters. The presented edition and analysis of Der Baron Wurstelsprung, one of the key plays, intend to evoke and re-experience the ephemeral nature of the impromptu play.