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Schlesische Theater-Zeitung

(Breslau, 1863-1864)

Prepared by Ole Hass
1 volume* (2006)

The Schlesische Theater-Zeitung. Organ für Theater, Musik und Kunst [STZ], was published in Breslau from 4 January to 25 December 1863, and continued as the Breslauer Theater-Zeitung until 26 June 1864. Fifty-two weekly issues appeared in 1863. Publication ceased after the twenty-fifth issue of 1864. The journal contains reports on performances in Berlin, Paris, Vienna, among other cities, but it focuses attention on cultural events in Breslau. The city (today Wroclaw in Poland) was the metropolitan center of Silesia.. The journal was published by Louis Stangen, with the cooperation of Dr. Max Karow. Stangen (1828-76) was a former railway official, a music enthusiast and founder of an artist agency, the Stangensche Theater-Agentur.

The content of STZ is presented in a fixed order in a two-column format. The first two sections of the journal contain performance reviews. The first, titled “Einheimisches” [Local items], generally consists of an overview of the repertory performed at the Breslau theater, including spoken theater, opera, ballet and concerts. The second section “Auswärtiges” [Foreign items] offers news of cultural life in other cities.

Performance reviews are usually followed by the section “Vom Büchertisch” [From the book desk], containing reviews of literature on music or drama, for example, a biography of the singer Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient by Alfred Freiherr von Wolzogen, or a collection of writings by Hector Berlioz in a German translation by Richard Pohl. Appearing less frequently is the section “Biographisches,” containing biographical sketches of performers and composers. A “Vermischtes” [Miscellaneous] section covers a wide range of performance news, gossip and rumors and new musical instruments. The “Geschäftliches” [Business] column served as a space for advertisements for Stangen’s artist and travel agencies. Finally, in “Briefkasten” [Mailbox], Stangen published notes of telegraphic brevity to his correspondents and friends.

The STZ reported enthusiastically on the successes of Richard Wagner as a traveling conductor, on his visits to Breslau, Prague and St. Petersburg as well as on performances of his works in Breslau, Vienna and Rotterdam. Wagner’s visit to Breslau was organized by Leopold Damrosch, at the time conductor of the city’s subscription concerts. Stangen also printed, in the STZ, a satirical article by Eduard Hanslick, highly critical of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. Many other important musical personalities of the time are reported on in the STZ, especially when they performed in Breslau. Among the latter were Hans von Bülow who appeared as both pianist and conductor, Jacques Offenbach who conducted his operetta Orpheus in der Unterwelt [Orphée aux enfers], the young cellist David Popper, and the soprano Emma Mampé-Babnigg. Other visitors to Breslau treated in the journal include the tenor Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld—who sang the lead role in a concert version of Wagner’s Tannhäuser, and performed songs by Damrosch—and the sopranos Leonore De Ahna and Marie Kreuzer.

* Hard bound with