Grétry’s Zémire et Azor in Vienna: Two Adaptations and a Parody

Skamletz, Martin (22 March 2023). Grétry’s Zémire et Azor in Vienna: Two Adaptations and a Parody In: Opera in Transnational Contexts. Cardiff / online. Wednesday 22 March and Friday 24 March 2023.

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Starting in the 1770s and with the last productions in the 1840s, the operas of Grétry received many performances at Viennese theatres. They were given only occasionally in their original French versions (when performed by touring companies); then, in the late 1770s and early 1780s, in rather literal German translations at the Imperial court theatres; then, after 1800, in heavily edited productions at Theater an der Wien with large sections of additional music; and finally, were transferred back to the court theatres beginning in the late 1810s. Zémire et Azor – an early version of the fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast, sometimes referred to as ‘The Magic Flute of the French’ (Der Sammler, 1818) – offers examples of multiple adaptation practices: a conservative court theatre production (performed between 1779 and 1787) and a new orchestration and partial recomposition by Ignaz von Seyfried (Kapellmeister at Theater an der Wien and first editor of Beethoven’s compositional studies), probably written as early as around 1810 but not performed until 1818; in the same year, a parody by Adolf Bäuerle with music by Wenzel Müller was also given at Theater in der Leopoldstadt and quickly adopted in other cities of the empire. All of these productions are represented in the archives with surviving libretti and scores and will be presented as examples of the different adaptation practices of French operas at Viennese theatres around 1800.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Bern Academy of the Arts
Bern Academy of the Arts > Institute Interpretation


Skamletz, Martin0000-0001-9634-4817


M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music




Martin Skamletz

Date Deposited:

05 Apr 2023 11:42

Last Modified:

05 Apr 2023 11:42

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