Stephen Schwartz To Compose Score For Vienna Musical About Mozart Collaborator in 2015-16
Stephen Schwartz, the Oscar and Tony awarded composer and lyricist, will collaborate with Christian Struppeck on a musical about Emanual Schikander (1751-1812), the librettist of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera The Magic Flute. The musical, which will be mounted in Vienna, is tentatively planned for the 2015/2016 season.
Struppeck is the artistic director of the Vereinigte Bühnen Wien (VBW), or United Stages Vienna, a renowned musical Production Company based in Vienna, Austria. VBW previously created musicals that were immensely succesful mostly in the German-speaking part of Europe, such as ELISABETH, TANZ DER VAMPIRE (of which a Broadway adaption famously bombed) and REBECCA (which planned Broadway run recently stranded when financial backing fell apart). VBW owns and operated three major theatres in Vienna: the Ronacher Theater, the Raimund Theater, and the Theater an der Wien.
The latter theatre was in fact founded in 1801 by Schikaneder.
Struppeck previously conceived the German musicals ICH WAR NOCH NIEMALS IN NEW YORK and DER SCHUH DER MANITU, both for the German branche of Stage Entertainment.
The Schwartz/Struppeck show is said to focus on Schikaneder and his wife Eleonore. The couple were fixtures of the Vienna theatrical community. Schikander wrote over 50 plays and 40 libretto's for musical theatre, of which Mozart's The Magic Flute (1791) is best known. Schikander co-starred in the premiere of the famous opera, as Papageno. Despite his success in many areas of the art, he died impoverished in Vienna at age 61.
Photo by: Joan Lauren