Alfonso und Estrella (‘Alfonso and Estrella’)
- Elizabeth Norman McKay
Oper in three acts by Franz Schubert to a libretto by Franz van Schober; Weimar., Hoftheater, 24 June 1854.
In September 1821, enjoying the recent minor successes of three of his compositions in Vienna theatres, Schubert left Vienna with his friend Schober to spend several weeks in the country working on their new opera. Schober, a year older than Schubert and a dilettante of letters, music and the theatre, was full of enthusiasm for this collaboration. Both authors were influenced by the theories on opera of Ignaz von Mosel, a highly respected government official and man of the theatre and one of Schubert’s patrons, who supported Gluck’s operatic ideals. The young men may have followed his advice in omitting all spoken dialogue, thus breaking away from the German Singspiel tradition. The story, in which the son of a usurped monarch falls in love with the daughter of the usurper, and brings about a conciliation, might owe something to Shakespeare’s ...