Widerspänstigen Zähmung, Der (‘The Taming of the Shrew’)
- Christopher Fifield
(‘The Taming of the Shrew’)
Komische Oper in four acts by Hermann Goetz to a libretto by Joseph Victor Widmann after William Shakespeare’s comedy; Mannheim, Nationaltheater, 11 October 1874.
Goetz began work on the opera in 1868, but because of his constant ill-health it was six years before it reached its première. In the field of German comic opera, Der Widerspänstigen Zähmung takes its place alongside Nicolai’s Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor and Cornelius’s Der Barbier von Bagdad. At its first performance the role of Katharine was sung by Ottilie Ottiker and Petruchio by Eduard Schlosser; Pauline Lucca and Minnie Hauk were among later interpreters of Katharine’s role. The opera carried its composer’s fame from Vienna (1875) and Berlin (1876) to London (1878) and New York (1886). Goetz, rejecting suggestions that he had been influenced by Die Meistersinger, the great German comic opera of the time, claimed that he remained loyal to the classicism of Mozart. Minnie Hauk, playing Katharine in Berlin in ...