Friday, February 18, 2011

First Musical Ever

The other day I was asked what I regard as the first musical ever. Spontaneously I answered: "The Magic Flute, of course". In the late 1780s Mozart complained that theatre music should be for everybody and not for the manicured gardens and gilded opera houses reserved for the aristocrats. Mozart was proud of his hits, boasting in his letters that his melodies where being played and sung on the streets of Prague and Vienna. 


  1. This morning I heard (Hallo, I still prefer the radio than TV…) a review on the yesterday´s world premiere of the musical „Anna Nicole“ added by some parts of music. This really is called a musical? I would identify this performance as modern opera.
    So when did the opera convert into the musical? Wasn´t the first musical „Die Entführung aus dem Serail“ due to its genesis 9 years earlier than the magic flute? Or isn´t the first musical a peace of musical theater that has been called MUSICAL? That was definitely in the US and not in Vienna.

  2. Now things are becoming interesting. Paul Schulz has provided an excellent new partition of our cultural time scale which is the best antidote against the bullshit of the optical illusions which lead to the concept of "postmodern". A new cladistic board of definitions of the musictheatrical works - or better: of the aspects those works can have - would be very refreshing. And up to now the immense arbitraryness reigning in this field of big Small-talk is definitely calling for one thing: some more arbitraryness.

    Oh yes, the hit has to be a criterion. And cs's pointful objection leads to the question, where (in Italy) and when it really began. I think, Schikaneder's Volkstheater was a return to the roots of what we call opera.

    Timeless is the desire of a story which can be felt as belonging to us, and which can be sung. I remember well how much I felt this desire as a young boy.