"Der Schauspieldirektor" Is Performed for Joseph II
Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario), K. 486, is a comic Singspiel written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to a German libretto by Gottlieb Stephanie, an Austrian Schauspieldirektor.
Mozart wrote the opera as his entry in a musical competition sponsored on February 7, 1786 by Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II at the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. The competition was to pit a German singspiel against an Italian opera. The competing Italian entry was the opera buffa Prima la musica, poi le parole (First the Music, then the Words), by Antonio Salieri.
There are only four vocal numbers in the score, and the musical content (about 30 minutes, including the overture) is surrounded by much spoken dialogue, topical in its day. In modern times, the text is usually completely rewritten.