‘Bad Taste And Common Exaggeration’. Several remarks on the musical and dramatic structure of Józef Elsner’s Opera Sultan Wampum, as compared with the original libretto by August von Kotzebue Cover Image
  • Price 3.90 €

„Zły smak i gminna przesada”. Kilka uwag o muzyczno-dramatycznej konstrukcji opery Sułtan Wampum Józefa Elsnera na tle oryginalnego libretta Augusta von Kotzebue
‘Bad Taste And Common Exaggeration’. Several remarks on the musical and dramatic structure of Józef Elsner’s Opera Sultan Wampum, as compared with the original libretto by August von Kotzebue

Author(s): Jakub Chachulski
Subject(s): Theatre, Dance, Performing Arts, Music
Published by: Instytut Sztuki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: Józef Elsner; August von Kotzebue; Sułtan Wampum; opera; singspiel

Summary/Abstract: The paper discusses Józef Elsner’s opera Sultan Wampum with texts by Wojciech Bogusławski and Augustyn Gliński, analysed here as an adaptation of the German libretto by August von Kotzebue. I have questioned the Warsaw reviewer’s opinion of 1815 (quoted in the title), in which he criticised the Polish translators for inserting ‘common’ and unnecessary elements in the text. Instead, I present those added sections as a result of Elsner and Bogusławski’s consistent concept for the adaptation of Kotzebue’s peculiar type of singspiel and transforming it into a fully-fledged comic opera. Te additions thus mainly stemmed from the consideration of musical-dramatic form and their choice of genre. I examine changes in the structures of acts, and the character of the added solo numbers. I also discuss in detail the extensive fnales, which are the main point at which the Warsaw authors interfered with the original libretto. Te changes they introduced distorted the coherent vision of the German librettist and led to internal discrepancies in the Warsaw version, which, nevertheless, proved to be a successful adaptation of the work to the tastes of the wide audience that frequented Warsaw’s theatres

  • Issue Year: 64/2019
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 3-36
  • Page Count: 34
  • Language: Polish