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date: 19 February 2020

Augenarzt, Der (‘The Oculist’)locked

  • Adrienne Simpson

Extract

(‘The Oculist’)

Singspiel in two acts by Adalbert Gyrowetz to a libretto by Johann Emanuel Veith; Vienna, Kärntnertortheater, 1 October 1811.

The story is based on the libretto (by Armand Croizette and Armand François Chateauvieux) for Louis-Sébastien Lebrun’s opera Les petits aveugles de Franconville (1802, Paris). A shy ex-regimental doctor, Berg (tenor), falls in love with Marie (soprano), the daughter of Pastor Reinfeld (bass). Berg is supported by his friend and patron, the Duke of Steinau (bass), but his wooing is complicated by a crafty rival, Igel (tenor), major-domo of the ducal palace. Pastor Reinfeld has two blind wards, Philipp and Wilhelmine (both sopranos), who have grown to love each other. Berg carries out a successful operation to restore their sight and discovers Wilhelmine to be his long-lost sister. Marie finally admits her love for Berg and the two couples are united, amid general rejoicing.

Contemporary commentators noted the stylistic similarity of ...

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