by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
A Singspiel fragment in two acts
After a lost libretto by Johann Andreas Schachtner
in german
Not all great works are completed: in 1781, the year of the premiere of his Idomeneo, W.A. Mozart broke off work on his “serious German Singspiel” Zaide, the first attempt at an exoticizing “Turkish opera”, which was followed by the “light-hearted” Abduction from the Seraglio. But what exactly does “the Turkish” want in it and where does it come from? (Certainly not from Turkey!) Director Jessica Glause uses the surviving Zaide material in Ludwigsburg's Schlosstheater to ask who actually formulates an “us and the others” against the backdrop of which tradition. The history of European musical theater is closely interwoven with the justification legends of colonialism and racism, i.e. the arbitrary division of humanity into superior and inferior. Cultures represented as “foreign” through the supposedly neutral standard of the Central European lens have thus been projected into weak, sexualized female figures or despotic ragers again and again over four centuries. Either they are conquered, saved, destroyed, or they must perish due to their lack of impulse control. However, the constellation of characters in Mozart's Zaide turns the screw even further. Placed in the position of the subjugated by the “slave trade”, Zaide and her lover, the “Christian dog” Gomatz, plead with Sultan Soliman for insight into the enlightened values of Europe: all men become brothers. The moment the Sultan refuses mercy, Mozart's work comes to an end. Together with a select ensemble of young Mozart voices, Jessica Glause explores in this participatory project in an 18th-century representation space what part beguilingly beautiful music can play in the construction of foreignness and inclusion. There is a reason why no Mozart recital is complete without Zaide's aria “Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben”.
Co-production with Ludwigsburg Palace Festival
World premiere
1866 in Frankfurt am Main

Premiere of this production
June 2025
Recommended age
from class 8
Direction Jessica Glause
Stage Design Mai Gogishvili
Costume Lena Winkler-Hermaden
Dramaturgy Franz-Erdmann Meyer-Herder, Christoph Sökler
With Natasha Te Rupe Wilson, Moritz Kallenberg and more members of the ensemble of Staatsoper Stuttgart
Staatsorchester Stuttgart

In June/July 2025

The dates will be announced in the fall.

Co-production with