View of the hall
|Location||Schwetzingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Nicolas de Pigage|
Schlosstheater Schwetzingen (Schwetzingen palace theater) is a court theater in Schwetzingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The historic building, opened in 1753, is part of Schloss Schwetzingen and since 1952 the principal venue of the Schwetzingen Festival. It is also called Hoftheater (court theater), Hofoper (court opera), and Comoedienhaus (comedy house). The frequently applied name Rokokotheater (Rococo theater) is misleading, because it shows also neoclassical elements, added in 1762.
Karl Theodor, the Pfalzgraf who resided in Mannheim, had the theater built for his summer residence in Schwetzingen in 1752 to the plans of court architect Nicolas de Pigage.It was opened on 15 June 1753, presenting Ignaz Holzbauer's opera Il figlio delle selve. The theater could then be considered a rococo creation, but was expanded with early neoclassical tendencies. While it first had no boxes, it was enlarged in 1762, creating a "box-like" impression. It is the oldest surviving Rangtheater (theater with boxless tiers) in Europe. The Mozart family visited the theater in 1763 and saw a play. When Karl Theodor succeeded Maximilian III Joseph of Bavaria as Elector of Bavaria in 1777, the court had to move to Munich and the theater lost its importance. Its original stage machinery was preserved into the 20th century, but it was replaced by modern facilities in the 1950s and again in the 1970s.
As part of the Residenz in the Schwetzingen Castle, it first belonged to the Electors, later to the Land Baden, then the state Baden-Württemberg.
The theater is a fitting location for operas and plays from the Baroque and classical period. Voltaire's L'orphelin de la Chine was premiered in 1755, his tragedy Olimpie was premiered in 1762, staged by Cosimo Alessandro Collini (1727–1806).Francesca Lebrun, the sister of Franz Danzi, a leading singer of the Mannheim Opera, performed, for example, the part of Parthenia in Anton Schweitzer's Alceste in Schwetzingen in 1775.
Since 1952 the theater has been the main venue of the Schwetzinger Festspiele (Schwetzingen Festival), which also presents contemporary operas. More than 35 operas have been commissioned and premiered,including works by Hans Werner Henze, Werner Egk, Udo Zimmermann, Aribert Reimann, Salvatore Sciarrino, Adriana Hölszky, Bernhard Lang, Wolfgang Rihm, Michael Jarrell, Georg Friedrich Haas and Enno Poppe.
Premieres have included
Each year the festival has presented the revival of a Baroque or classical opera. Holzbauer's Il figlio delle selve, which had opened the theater in 1753, was performed 250 years later in 2003.
From 1969 the theater has been a venue of the Mozartfest, an annual festival in fall organized by the association Mozartgesellschaft Schwetzingen.
Schwetzingen is a German town situated in the northwest of Baden-Württemberg, around 10 km (6.2 mi) southwest of Heidelberg and 15 km (9.3 mi) southeast of Mannheim. Schwetzingen is one of the five biggest cities of the Rhein-Neckar-Kreis district and a medium-sized centre near the higher ranked city of Mannheim.
Hans Werner Henze was a German composer. His large oeuvre of works is extremely varied in style, having been influenced by serialism, atonality, Stravinsky, Italian music, Arabic music and jazz, as well as traditional schools of German composition. In particular, his stage works reflect "his consistent cultivation of music for the theatre throughout his life".
Ignaz Jakob Holzbauer was a composer of symphonies, concertos, operas, and chamber music, and a member of the Mannheim school. His aesthetic style is in line with that of the Sturm und Drang "movement" of German art and literature.
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Schloss Schwetzingen, or Schwetzingen Palace is a schloss in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. Schwetzingen was the summer residence of the Electors Palatine Charles III Philip and Charles IV Theodore. It is situated in Schwetzingen, roughly equidistant from the electors' seats at Heidelberg and Mannheim, and is most notable for its spacious and ornate gardens. Other than these exceptionally well preserved gardens and the palace proper, the compound also features the Schlosstheater Schwetzingen, the principal venue for the annual Schwetzingen Festival.
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Luci mie traditrici is an opera in two acts by Salvatore Sciarrino, who also wrote the libretto. It was first performed under the German title Die tödliche Blume on 19 May 1998 in the Schlosstheater Schwetzingen at the Schwetzingen Festival.
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Der Revisor is a comic opera in five acts by Werner Egk, who was also the librettist. It is based on Nikolai Gogol's play The Government Inspector. The premiere on 9 May 1957 at the Schwetzingen Festival was conducted by the composer.
Zwingenberg Castle, also called Zwingenberg or Schloss Zwingenberg, stands on the right bank of the River Neckar where it cuts through the Odenwald hills in central Germany. The castle is located in the municipality of Zwingenberg in the state of Baden-Württemberg.
In seinem Garten liebt Don Perlimplin Belisa is an opera in two acts by Wolfgang Fortner. The libretto, also by Fortner, is based on Federico García Lorca's play Amor de don Perlimplín con Belisa en su jardín. It premiered at the opening of the 1962 Schwetzingen Festival.
Il Figlio delle selve is an opera in three acts by Ignaz Holzbauer to a libretto by Carlo Sigismondo Capece premiered June 1753 at the Schlosstheater Schwetzingen for Kurfürst Carl Theodor zu Mannheim, securing Holzbauer employment as kapellmeister. The opera was revived by Staats Theater Mainz for the Schwetzingen Festival 2003, and again for the Festival de Radio France et Montpellier Languedoc Roussillon in July 2005.
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