THE TURBULENT LOVE STORY BEHIND THE MAGIC FLUTE
The multi-talented young actor, singer, poet, director and theatre manager, Emanuel Schikaneder, is a hit with audiences right from the word go. His on-stage charisma is equalled only by the force of his charm off-stage – women throw themselves at him by the score. But it is only Eleonore who manages to win his heart, and from then on the two make a brilliant couple, on stage as well as off. It seems that nothing can stop the meteoric rise of Emanuel and Eleonore Schikaneder. They found their own theatre troupe, entertaining audiences from Augsburg to Vienna. Their flair for theatre and feel for what audiences want brings them gales of applause wherever they perform. Soon their fame precedes them wherever they go. Schikaneder is now able to achieve his greatest theatrical dreams as a director and his skilful mix of poetry and spectacle delights audiences across every social class.
Only one thing tarnishes the magic the couple share: Schikaneder’s constant infidelities. Eventually Leonore decides to go her own way and leaves with Johann Friedl, a young member of the troupe, to manage the “Theater auf der Wieden”, an enterprise that is not exactly crowned with success. To add to her misfortunes, her partner dies and she finds herself confronted with the choice between giving up her theatre or asking her not-yet-ex-husband, Emanuel Schikaneder, to run the theatre with her. Together they go on to create one of the greatest theatrical triumphs of all time.
The love they once shared is put to a new test: only if they can regain their trust in each other and work together, will they be able to recapture their lost theatrical magic and go on to still greater things. A balancing act begins between trust and turning away. This vibrant musical comedy combines romantic and comic scenes with serious and emotional moments, and transports us into the colourful and turbulent world of Viennese theatre at the end of the 18th century.
TEXT: Courtesy of www.musicalschwartz.com/schikaneder