Lortzing and Nestroy

I’ve been thinking for a long time about a connection between Albert Lortzing and Johann Nestroy.
There are a lot of similarities (e.g. year of birth), although Nestroy didn’t write his own music.

In the “Nestroyana” 26 (2006), pg. 125-26 (I wish the Albert Lortzing Gesellschaft had such a great journal), Jürgen Hein kickstarted further investigations with an article “Albert Lortzing und Johann Nestroy. Eine Anregung”. He already skimmed the subject concerning the written testimonies, but there must be more to explore.

Before I embark on that adventure – which is definitely my intention for the future – I stumbled on a weird coincidence this week. At the website of Europeana, a mère a boire for european culture as is being conserved in european museums, I found the advertising poster for a performance of “Rolands Knappen”

Actually, I knew this poster, because as a member of the Albert Lortzing Gesellschaft it had already been given to me as a postcard to invite me for the performance of this work at the Mittelsächsischen Theater Freiberg und Döbeln. I wasn’t able to attend – due to the distance from my home to the theatres.

Now, having done some research about Nestroy and some thinking about a Lortzing-Nestroy connection, I saw what I didn’t see in 2005 – and what obviously wasn’t noticed also by the person who had to describe the picture for the website:

(…)Bildmitte wird von einem Ausschnitt einer Grafik bestimmt: drei Männer mit Wanderrucksack in Unterhaltungsgestik, farbig, (…)

Of course this is a picture of a scene from Nestroy’s “Der böse Geist Lumpazivagabundus”, taken from the Wiener Theaterzeitung, after Johann Christian Schoellerand. The “drei Männer mit Wanderrucksack in Unterhaltungsgestik” are Johann Nestroy, Wenzel Scholz and Carl Carl; not the least in theatrical history 🙂

Of course I informed the Leipzig Museum of this, and, after thanking me for my help, they promised me to upgrade their information.

But, finding the similarity between the two images triggered an interesting thought: did the designer of this poster probably do more than just copy-pasting a public domain-picture and organizing the text around the image? Is there perhaps also a “Rolands Knappen – Lumpazivagabundus”-connection?

There is, and – unfortunately for me – it has already brought up by Christoph Nieder, who wrote in the same Nestroyana volume 26 (2006) pgs 48-61, an essay about Lortzing’s “Rolands Knappen” – “Eine Wiener Zauberoper von Albert Lortzing”.

Except “Lumpazivagabundus” Nieder brings also up some other influences, like Raimund’s “Barometermacher”, “Mädchen aus der Feenwelt” and “Alpenkönig”.

Nieder was involved as a dramaturg by the performance of Rolands Knappen in 2005, so this perhaps explains the origin of the idea of the picture.

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