Carl Maria von Weber: Abu Hassan

One opera was also premiered in Munich by the pioneer of German-language opera Carl Maria von Weber, whose Freischütz still enjoys particular popularity today. The libretto for the Singspiel in one act Abu Hassan was written by Franz Karl Hiemer and is based on a story from One Thousand and One Nights. Weber was private secretary to Ludwig, Duke of Württemberg, who was in debt and considered corrupt, when he planned the adaptation of a debt story together with Hiemer, a theater poet from Stuttgart. The premiere, however, took place during Weber’s stay in Munich, or more precisely: on June 4, 1811, the first performance of the opera went over the stage at the then Munich Court Theater. In the years that followed, the work enjoyed great popularity and found its way onto the stages of Stuttgart, Frankfurt am Main, Vienna, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Copenhagen and London, among others. However, as the common combination of shorter plays with opera acts slowly disappeared, performances of Abu Hassan also became more sparse. Nevertheless, in the 20th century there were performances conducted by Bruno Walter in Berlin, Felix Mottl in Munich, and Richard Strauss in Vienna, for example.

Image credit: By Caroline Bardua - 1. umnofil.ru2. GalleriX, Public domain,